By CulinaryKizzy, member
Posted: March 12th, 2010
Slow Cooker is reminder of slower days or in today's times, busier days. It reminds me of more and more traditional recipes that I make often.
Tuscan white bean and black-leaf kale is hearty, winter vegetable soup is at the heart of Tuscan vegetarian cuisine. Traditionally the soup is slow-cooked over wood stoves until the beans are tender and infused with aromatics. A soffritto of celery, parsley and pancetta is made and onions, leeks, carrots and cabbage are cooked to tender before adding tomatoes and beans. Leave out pancetta for a vegetarian soup.
Cavolo Nero is a Tuscan black-leaf kale. If unavailable, substitute savoy (green, crinkled, loose-leafed) cabbage or regular kale leaves or green cabbage or Brussels sprouts. Tuscan white beans, “cannellini beans”, may be substituted with any other white bean, the closest being Great Northern beans. You can use any other vegetables you might have at hand. Good quality olive oil is also important.
FAGIOLI CON CAVOLO NERO ALLA TOSCANA (Tuscan White Bean and Black-Leaf Kale / Black Cabbage Soup) [Tuscany, Italy]
1?2 lb (8 oz / 227g) dried cannellini or Great Northern beans
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 leek, cleaned and finely sliced
2 young carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks with leaves, strings removed and sliced into half moon or finely chopped
2 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or smashed with the back of a knife (optional)
a handful of parsley leaves, chopped
2 fresh sprigs of thyme
a fresh sprig of rosemary, minced [or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary] (optional)
a fresh sprig of oregano [or ½ teaspoon dried oregano] (optional)
1 small (about 1?2 lb) cavolo nero (black Tuscan cabbage / black-leaf kale), cut into large chunks [or use shredded Savoy cabbage or Swiss chard
2 plum tomatoes, blanched, skinned, de-seeded and diced
½ dried pepperoncino (red hot chili pepper - optional)
4 to 6 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
a handful of basil leaves
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Remove any foreign elements from dried beans. Rinse and soak the beans in sufficient water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, combine with 4 to 6 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Salt the water lightly and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the beans are tender. Some cooks drain and rinse the beans under cold tap water until it runs clear.
Simply combine all the ingredients with hydrated beans in a slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 6 to 8 hours. Add stock or water as necessary to keep the ingredients just covered or a bit more for a 'soupier' consistency.
Check for seasoning and let rest for an hour. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, then sprinkle with basil (or parsley) leaves and some freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to serve.