When the last thing in the garden is Kale and there's snow in the forecast, this soup makes the best dinner. While there are many recipes, we go back to the classics, like this one from Foods 52 and Lydia Bastianich.

  • 3tablespoons olive oil
  • 2cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1onion, chopped
  • 1/4teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 1carrot, chopped
  • 1rib of celery, chopped
  • 28ounces (1 can) plum tomatoes
  • 1teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1potato, peeled and diced
  • 1pound cavolo nero, or any other variety of kale, trimmed and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 15ounces (1 can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4-6thick slices of country bread, torn into pieces
  • 4cups water
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and crushed red chili pepper flakes. Sweat the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Toss in the carrot and celery with a pinch of salt and sweat the vegetables 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, trim the hard stem ends off the tomatoes and discard. Crush the tomatoes with your hands.
  4. Pour the tomatoes (and their juices) into the pot with the thyme, potato, and 3 cups water. Bring the soup to a simmer, turn the heat down and partially cover with the lid. Keep the soup at a low simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Toss in the kale with another cup of water, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the canned beans and continue to simmer the soup 5 more minutes.
  7. Stir in the bread and serve with a drizzle of spicy Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil. The soup should be thickened by the bread, but not at all dry.