- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- ½ cup fresh parsley and rosemary, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon chile flakes
- 3 whole tomatoes, peeled
- 1 bunch leafy cooking greens (like kale, Swiss chard or collard greens), stemmed and chopped
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups cooked cranberry beans, cannellini beans or chickpeas
- 2 cups broth from homemade beans, or any combination of chicken stock, liquid from cans of tomatoes, and water
- 1 piece Parmesan rind (any size)
- 2 cups good, stale bread without fruit or nuts or seeds, crusts removed, torn into rough ½-inch pieces
- Grated Parmesan, for garnishing
Heat ¼-inch of olive oil in a large pot. Cook the onion, garlic and celery in the oil, salting them as soon as you add them. Once they have begun to soften, add the herbs and chile fiakes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon as they soften, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.
Add the chopped greens and the water. Cover the pot and cook over a low heat until the greens are wilted. Add the beans and broth and Parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer, then add the bread and ½ cup olive oil. Cover the pot, turn the heat as low as you can, and cook for half an hour, checking occasionally to make sure it isn’t burning and adding a little bean broth or water if it seems too dry. The bread must cook and absorb everything it can, and then melt into the soup.
Stir in another ½ cup olive oil, taste, and remove the cheese rind. Serve warm, topped with freshly grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.