1/2 lb dried cannelleni beans
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp minced pancetta
1 small leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and diced
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
6 leaves fresh sage
3 quarts beef stock
1 bunch black tuscan kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
8 slices rustic bread, toasted or grilled
1Soak beans overnight in cold water in the refrigerator. Drain. Place the beans and the bay leaf in a soup pot or dutch oven and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 2 hours, or until tender throughout. 15 minutes before the beans are done, stir in 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Drain the beans, set aside, then wash the pot.
2Return the pot to a medium heat and add the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in the pancetta, leeks and the onion and a sprinkling of kosher salt and saute for 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrot and sage leaves and cook for 10-15 minutes longer, or until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent. Reduce the heat if it starts to brown.
3Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4Stir in the kale and half of the reserved beans. With the other half of the beans, make a puree in the food processor, blender or through a food mill. Stir into the soup along with the parsley. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
5Taste the soup at this point and add some more salt and some freshly ground pepper as needed. At this point the soup would traditionally be cooled and stored over night.
6The next day, (or later the same day) bring the soup back to a simmer. Place a slice of toasted bread in each bowl and ladle the soup over. Garnish with excellent olive oil drizzled over the top.
If you have the time, make the soup the night before you plan to serve it ~ you won't be disappointed!