This is a really good and simple winter time soup. Kale is readily available and super nutritious. If you can't find Black Kale, regular Kale or Lacinato works. You can also sub any other greens like collard, turnip,or mustard. Don't be squeamish. Greens are not just for chitlins and southern picnics. They are a nice hearty way to get your phyto-chemicals, iron, trace elements and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Sauteed in a little olive oil and dressed with a warm bacon vinagrette and shallots makes them sophisticated enough to bring to the dinner table, unlike that dentally challenged uncle that wears cut off shorts and a Miller High Life ball cap as formal wear. You know thats how you think of Greens. Anywho.
1 bunch of Kale
4-5 medium potatoes
1 pound of white (Navy) beans or 2 cans of Cannelinni beans
1 box of chicken or vegetable broth
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of thyme
1 small shallot
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Cotija or some hard salty cheese
If you are using regular beans follow the instructions for over night soaking and rinsing. Otherwise fast forward to tomorrow and get hopping. Simmer your beans with a bay leaf or two for an hour or until they are tender. Reserve half of the cooking liquid and the bay leaf.
Cube up your potatoes into 1/2" pieces. I like to go a little small that normal so that the are closer to the size of the beans. Add them to a pot and add just enough water to cover them. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until soft which should be about 15 mins. Strain and reserve half the cooking liquid.
Mince your shallot and slice your garlic. Rough chop your kale or tear it up like that 12 page research paper your teacher gave you a C- on back in 7th grade. Add the shallot, garlic, thyme, kale, lemon zest, broth, bean liquid, potato liquid, eye of newt, wart of frog....the rest of the stuff. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a bubble and then turn down to simmer for about 7 minutes or until the kale is cooked through.
Ladle into bowls and then add some cheese. I am a fan of a nice salty crumbly mexican cojtia seco. You could also use a nice ricotta salata, grated parmesean, or peccerino. Basically anything hard and salty.