Ingredients

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 cloves garlic, smashed (equals ½ to 1 V, t. (sm. to lg. size clove) minced per clove or ¼ t. garlic powder per clove)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (1/3 t. dried*)
1 2-ounce piece pancena (optional) (bacon can be substituted but may be blanched for 2 min. to eliminate smoke flavor)
5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
Kosher salt
3 pounds fresh cranberry beans in pods, shelled (or 1 cup dried cranberry beans*, soaked overnight)
2 bay leaves
1 piece parmesan cheese rind (ask at deli counter), plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and more for topping
2 cups small pasta, such as shells or ditalini
1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped (or 1 bag frozen, thawed and squeezed dry)
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (4 t. dried)
Freshly ground pepper

Step by Step Directions
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancena, if using, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. Add the beans, 3 quarts water, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cool, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 more minutes. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary.)

Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancena, if used. Add the grated parme­san, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan.

*Available at Molbeck’s

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