Being a very visual person, I find it ironic when I tend to make recipes that have a corresponding photo VS ones that don’t and yet, I often seem to forget to take food photos for my blog. But I didn’t today! Looking through an old Sunset magazine titled “Feel Good Dinners”, I came across the photo for Tuscan Kale, White Bean & Ciabatta soup. With a husband that’s under the weather and working a hard week, I thought I’d make something that looked to be heart soothing and soul warming.
I like to stick as close to the recipe as I can when making something for the first time. I was disappointed when the store didn’t have dried cannelloni beans and there didn’t seem to be any dried substitute. I wondered over to the canned bean section and voila, canned white cannelloni beans. So I grabbed two cans.
Now, I’m fairly new to kale and didn’t know the difference between regular kale and Tuscan kale. So I asked the produce staff. In 35 years of working produce, she had never heard of Tuscan kale. Really? This issue of Sunset has at least two different recipes that call specifically for Tuscan kale and you’ve never heard of it? Anyway, she recommended organic Lacinato Kale. Which come to find out, after getting home and doing some research, Lacinato, Tuscan, Black cabbage or Dinosaur kale is all the same thing. Whew, that made me feel better.
Nearly the entire time I was making this recipe, I felt like I was missing a step, or doing something wrong. I kept reading and rereading the directions only to realize I was right on track. There is usually some level of nervousness when making something for the first time, especially a soup that often requires some amount of time to simmer. And if you are making it specifically for someone you put a fair amount of love, energy, time and effort into it and are certainly hoping it turns out – but as with most things, there is no guarantee.
Due to a long simmer time, the 2 quarts of chicken broth had noticeably reduced. Add 6 oz. of Ciabatta bread and you have more of a runny casserole and less of a soup. As one is reheating the soup before serving, there is the option to add more broth, depending on your thickness preference. I added an additional 10.5 oz can.
Somewhere during the final cooking stages, I realized that my husband has an after work meeting and won’t be home until around 9 pm. So much for my great idea. As the soup was ready to eat, I poured myself a bowl and sat down to eat solo. I garnished the soup with some Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. It was pretty darn good! I think it would be even better on a cold, grey winter day. As for Michael, I’m guessing it will be even better tomorrow, plus he’ll have something nice for lunch. I’m sure the love in the soup will last until then.