YEP. I think it’s safe to say we are deep into winter. Because of this “once in a generation” level of cold, I have been craving something super cozy. Since meat has been tough on my stomach to prepare, I’ve been looking for protein packed vegetarian meals. I was deep in Instagram stories, and saw the folks at Basically (by Bon Appetit) making this dish–it fit the bill perfectly.
I used a crusty sourdough loaf and Ezekiel bread- but the original recipe calls for a crusty country bread (mmm yummy!), but to make it Month 1 #shedapproved just use Ezekiel. I honestly barely noticed the difference between the Ezekiel and sourdough once it was all together! I would skip going back for seconds if you are shedding, but doubtful you would even want to! It is incredibly filling!
Other changes I made: I skipped the beginning steps and just used Trader Joe’s amazing Mirepoix. Easy > Everything. Also, I had thought I had a chunk of parm at home, but it turned out to be Romano, so I ended up a bit of pre-grated parm and Romano early on instead of the parmesan rind, however, if I hadn’t of needed to I wouldn’t have skipped that step. I’m sure the rind really adds depth!
This recipe was perfection, and did not disappoint! While this is essentially a bread soup, it is guilt free! Loaded up with kale, tomatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and beans it packs a nutritional punch! It is the perfect #hygge meal for these soup belly kind of nights! Now, mangia!! -AHS
Adapted From Bon Appetit (I highly recommend going to the original recipe- they have lovely step by step visuals!)
1 large onion (or use Mirepoix from Trader Joes)
3 medium carrots (or use Mirepoix from Trader Joes)
2 celery stalks (or use Mirepoix from Trader Joes)
8 garlic cloves (I used 6 because they were massive)
2 bunches Tuscan kale
1 small wedge of Parmesan with rind - adapted - used 2 tsp parm/romano mix
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
½ loaf Ezekiel bread (about 10 oz.) (adapted to make #shedapproved)
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 14-oz. can cannellini beans
¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. Time to prep your veg! You are going to make a mirepoix, which is just a fancy French word for the combo of chopped onions, carrots, and celery that form the flavor base for a lot of European dishes. First, cut 1 large onion in half through root. Peel and discard skins. Finely chop and transfer to a medium bowl. If using TJ’s Mirepoix skip to step 4.
Wash, peel, and trim 3 medium carrots. Cut in half (or in quarters lengthwise if they’re large), then cut crosswise into ½" pieces. (You can also just chop the carrots down into coins if you don't mind larger pieces of veg in your soup.) Add to bowl with onion.
Chop 2 celery stalks crosswise into ½" pieces. Add to bowl with the rest of the mirepoix.
Smash and peel 8 garlic cloves with the back of your knife. If any of them are left more or less intact after that initial smashing, give them another good wack with the back of your knife so they really open up and start to break apart. Add to bowl, also.
Strip stems from 2 bunches Tuscan kale and discard. Wash if they're gritty or you really care about washing vegetables, then tear leaves into 2" pieces; set aside.
Cut rind off of 1 small Parmesan wedge; set aside.
Place 28 oz. canned tomatoes and their juices in a strainer set inside a medium bowl. (You need that bowl to collect the juice, which you're going to use later—don't throw it out!) Squeeze tomatoes and crush them with your hands while leaving them submerged in their liquid so they don’t squirt.
Tear ½ loaf crusty country bread into 1½" pieces.
Heat ⅓ cup extra-virgin oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium. Add bowl of mirepoix and 2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 8–10 minutes.
Lift strainer full of tomatoes and give it a few shakes to remove any liquid. Add tomatoes (but not juices!) and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the rawness is cooked off, about 10 minutes. Giving those tomato solids a chance to caramelize before adding the liquid back in helps to add a lot of flavor to the stew. (Remember: Reserve the juices, you’re going to use them!)
While tomatoes are cooking, drain and rinse 14 oz. canned cannellini beans in the strainer you just used, then add to pot along with Parmesan rind, tomato juices, ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer.
Add kale in two additions, stirring often and allowing to wilt in between.
Add about one-third of torn bread (no need to measure, just eyeball it) and cook, stirring occasionally, until coated and warmed through, about 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Remove from heat. Place remaining torn bread chunks on top of stew. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
Transfer pot to oven and bake stew until thick, bubbling, and bread is golden brown on top, 10–15 minutes.
Ladle stew into bowls, drizzle each generously with olive oil, and grate lots of Parmesan over.