By Chef Linda
Soup can be a forgiving and nourishing dish to make when time is tight; its forgiving nature lies in the flexibility of ingredients–substitutions or imprecise measurements generally yield successful results. A busy weeknight is the perfect time to put a pot on and let it simmer while you tend to children, pets, and evening chores. Crusty bread bowls make for an unexpected presentation and can truly turn a bowl of soup into a meal. After enjoying the soup, tear off flavorful pieces of the edible bowl–perfect for finicky children since they have to eat the soup before the bread!
Rosemary and white beans, a classic combination, meet up with a hearty dose of kale in this recipe to provide a healthy serving of greens to round out this complete meal. Simplicity is why canned beans are called for, but by all means, use cooked, dried beans if you can. Rustic and comforting, this 30-minute-soup will quickly soothe your savage weeknight appetite.
Rosemary White Bean Bread Bowls
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to drizzle
1 medium onion, chopped, about 2/3 cup
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed, or 3 cups cooked beans
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 (4-inch) sprigs thrown right into the pot
1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed and chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 bread bowls/small round loaves of bread
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and salt. Cook until translucent and soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the beans, broth, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a low simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Stir in kale and lemon juice; the lemon should add a bright note to the soup, so add another tablespoon if you think it needs it.
While soup is simmering, cut the tops off the bread bowls and set aside. Using your fingers or a sharp knife, remove the inner part of the bread bowl, leaving about 1/4-inch thickness all the way around.
Remove the pot from the heat. Use an immersion blender or carefully transfer soup in batches from the pot to a blender. Blend until smooth, about 20 seconds. Blend longer for a completely smooth result or less for a chunkier texture. If using a blender, fill only canister only halfway and remove the knob in the center of the lid and cover with a dish towel; Hot soup creates steam which can cause the lid of pop off during blending.
Taste the soup and adjust with more salt, if necessary. Pour or ladle soup into bread bowls drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve immediately with the bread top placed over the soup or on the side.