Recipe to warm your nubbies: White bean and kale stew

A perfect warming element on a cold winter Florida night.

1 pound dried Great Northern beans (canned beans don't work as well)

3 slices applewood-smoked bacon

2 c. chopped onion (about 2 medium)

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 c. chicken broth

2 c. water

1 1/2 T. minced fresh thyme

1 T. minced fresh rosemary (or you can use 2 t. dried)

1 bunch kale, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)

1 (2-ounce) piece Parmesan rind

2 T. fresh lemon juice

Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Soak beans overnight (or at least 8 hours) by covering with water to 2 inches above beans. Drain.

2. Cook bacon in a pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, you can pour off everything but 2 t. of bacon fat but I left it all - after all, fat is flavor! Crumble bacon and set aside. Add onion to pan; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds.

3. Add beans, broth, water, thyme, rosemary, and kale to pan; bring to a boil. Add rind to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove from heat; discard rind. Stir in juice then add bacon. Makes enough for about 8 people.

NOTES:

Resist the urge to delete the cheese rind - it makes a huge difference.

Other things you could add:

Halfway through cooking, throw in half a small jalapeno pepper (seeded)

Stir in 1 c. fresh, chopped arugula at the end

Add a cup of chopped spicy chorizo five or so minutes before you serve it

Adopted from Cooking Light Magazine

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