Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup

Martha Stewart Living
  • Yield Serves 6
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  • 1 1/2 pounds cavolo nero (also called Tuscan kale), stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 dried red chile, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 8 ounces dried cannellini beans, soaked according to package instructions
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 loaf Tuscan bread (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and toasted


  1. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add kale; cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Plunge kale into ice bath. Drain.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and fennel seeds; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

  3. Stir in stock, beans, and tomato. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

  4. Add kale and reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Divide bread and soup among 4 bowls.

Recipe Reviews

Reviews (4)

  • SamanthaEve 28 Dec, 2010

    I made this last minute for dinner and it was a really great dish that I'll definitely be making again! I added the kale in for the last 15-20 minutes of simmering, so it soaked up the flavor, but didn't get too chewy. I also added some fresh parsley to give the broth a lift. Didn't bother with the reserved liquid, not really sure what that's about...even without it, the soup was surprisingly tasty and just as beautiful as in the picture.

  • harpstrings12 5 Nov, 2010

    It makes sense to add the cooking liquid during Step 3, with the stock. I would also add the Kale during Step 3 so it has a chance to get tender and soak up all the seasonings in that 30 minute cooking time. Hope this helps.

  • ashelina 5 Nov, 2010

    Do I add the kale at the end? What do I do with the reserved liquid?

  • pushbuttonkitty 3 Nov, 2010

    What do I do with the reserved cooking liquid? Am I missing something?