This is one of those soups that warms the heart and feeds the soul. I love its simplicity and the fact that it is dense with nutrients. It is the kind of soup my daughter gives the thumbs up to every time she sees me pull out the giant soup pot and go the garden to retrieve kale. What makes this version Sicilian is the addition of red pepper flakes for a little volcanic kick. In Sicily, the substitution of bietola or chard would be fine.

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch lacinato kale, cut ribs and stems out, coarsely chopped
1 can cannellini beans
6-8 small red potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 leek, diced
3 shallots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
1/2 can (8oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes (if desired)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6-8 cups vegetable stock (amount depends on consistency desired)
course Sicilian sea salt and ground pepper

Sauté leeks, shallots and garlic in oil over low/medium flame and stir occasionally until translucent. Add celery, potato, and carrots and continue sautéing  for a few minutes longer until they are semi-soft. About 5 minutes. Add kale and sauté for another few minutes. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add beans, vegetable stock, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Add red pepper flake. Bring to a boil and reduce to low/medium flame and cook partially covered for about 30 minutes or until potatoes and vegetables are fork tender. Stir occasionally. Check for desired consistency.

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