The weather has been kinda spastic in LA lately. It’s doing that thing where it’s cold in the shade and hot in the sun. I keep daydreaming about a hot bowl of soup with a big scoop of toasted coconut ice cream in the center. Ew.
My brain is confused. The cure: cheese and bread. Always.
In an attempt to keep up my healthy eating, I figured I needed to justify the cheese and bread thing and throw in a dose of wholesome; that’s where the white beans and kale come in.
This soup is like French Onion Soup’s lighter, more spring-like cousin.
I ordered a few cookbooks last week (including Heidi’s!), adding Gwyenth Paltrow’s book at the last minute, with very little expectations. I was morbidly curious about the book, especially after reading these ridiculous quotes that DListed pullled from it. Amazing.
Despite all the dramaz, I gave it a chance. And can I just say that…umm…after reading the foreword, which was all about how her relationship with food and her dad are intertwined, I was sold.
I’m kind of a sap when it comes to girls talking about their awesome relationships with their dads.
She reminded me of my own dad– how much he’s given me, how much he’s given up, and everything in between.
I mean, who else is gonna teach you how to change a flat tire, make pate achoux and force you to be an athlete, even when you’re begging to look cute and be a cheerleader.
That’s pro parenting right there…
This particular recipe was inspired from a soup she used to have at a restaurant her and her father would frequent. I love recipes with context and story behind them. That’s her story. It’s cute and sweet.
My story behind this soup is that I was starving, a friend was coming over for lunch and I wanted cheese and bread.
Sometimes you don’t need something to be nostalgic and sappy to be good. Cheese and bread are good enough. Always.
White Bean Kale Soup, French Onion Soup Style
Adapted from Gywenth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds removed, sliced thinly
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch of kale, stems disgarded and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
8 thin slices baguette
1 cup of Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium-heat. Add the fennel and onion and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the 25 minute mark add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. The onions and fennel will be slightly carmelized–this is good!
Add the chile flakes, oregano and pepper and cook for a minute. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and add salt to taste, and let cook on low heat for 1 hour. Note: I didn’t need any extra salt.
Stir in the kale leaves and let it cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until slightly cooked. Lade into four ovenproof bowls. Float two toasts on each bowl and evenly distribute the cheese. Put the bowls under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, less than a few minutes.