Rainy days call for white bean, kale soup
by Bill Grant
May 21, 2014 11:24 PM | 2096 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
White Bean and kale soup with olive oil and parmesan. <br> Special to the Tribune
White Bean and kale soup with olive oil and parmesan.
Special to the Tribune
Buttermilk and bacon ramp biscuits with compound ramp butter.
Buttermilk and bacon ramp biscuits with compound ramp butter.
Unfortunately, it was a rainy weekend for Canton Festival of the Arts, but the Cherokee Arts Center board and all of the artists pulled it off in style. We spent most of the day enjoying the festival on Saturday, and Grant Design Collaborative sponsored the Artists’ Reception Saturday night.

We had a nice time, as usual, and got to catch up with a lot of friends and colleagues. Due to the construction around Brown Park, this year’s festival was moved to Cannon Park, North Street and between the justice centers. I really liked having it in the center of town again, and the Canton Police Department did a great job detouring traffic around North Street.

As a special treat on Saturday, we even got a sneak peek at the future location of Stout’s Growler store from the owners, the Stouts and Pujols. This is going to be a great new addition to downtown Canton, and I am happy to see such a progressive retail venture locating on North Street.

Our Historic Downtown Loop really is beginning to take shape. Last week, we also had the exciting ribbon cutting for the new Fincher-Adkins Park where the old fire hole used to be. It is great to see the old fence replaced by the beautiful terraced landscape and green sod. Thanks to our Main Street machine for working hard to make this green space a reality.

We ventured back over to the Festival on Sunday, but it was really raining steady. After enjoying a nice brunch at the Painted Pig Tavern, we ran over to our plot at the Victory Garden East to harvest some kale for this week’s Sunday Supper.

I decided the rainy weekend called for a big pot of kale and white bean soup, but of course it stopped raining as soon as the soup was done and the festival was over. In addition to the garden fresh kale, one of Jeff Brown’s customers also brought us some ramps.

He brings them every year, and I always look forward to this culinary delicacy. To go with the soup, I baked some buttermilk and bacon ramp biscuits. I served the biscuits with some compound ramp butter, and they were divine. The entire meal was healthy, tasty and organic — start to finish. We’ve really been trying to eat healthier, and so far, so good.

I hope your weekend was artfully tasteful as well.

The Menu:

White Bean and Kale Soup with Olive Oil and Parmesan

Buttermilk and Bacon Ramp Biscuits with Compound Ramp Butter

White Bean and Kale Soup


1 lb dried white beans

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

5 cups chicken broth

2 qt water

1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped


Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. Or soak overnight and rinse.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Before serving, drizzle with olive oil and add fresh grated parmesan reggiano.

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