Adapted from barefootcontessa.com and Giada De Laurentis
- 1 pound dried white cannellini beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, ¼-inch diced
- 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots, scrubbed (5 carrots)
- 2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (4 ribs)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
- 8 to 10 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly cracked
- 1 2-inch piece parmesan cheese rind
- 4 to 5 large leaves Tuscan kale, ribs removed, chopped (about 2 cups)
- Grated parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)
- At least 8 hours or the night before you make the soup, place the beans in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Set aside.
- In a large (10-inch) pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat, add the pancetta, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned.
- Add the leeks, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary and cook over medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the beans, 8 cups of the chicken stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, parmesan rind, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Discard the bay leaves, add the kale, cover the pot, and allow the soup to sit off the heat for 15 minutes. Add up to 2 more cups of chicken stock if the soup is too thick.
- Reheat slowly, ladle into large shallow soup bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.