Serves: 8 – 10
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 stalks celery, diced
12 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, finely diced
2 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, finely chopped (optional)
Extra-virgin olive oil to serve (optional)
½ large onion, diced
1 ½ medium carrots, peeled, diced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
4 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained, chopped
2 small heads lacinato kale, remove hard ribs, shredded
For bouquet garni:
4 bay leaves
2 large or 4 small sprigs rosemary
2 large sprigs sage
2 cups loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
4 large cloves garlic, peeled, grated
Coarse or flaky sea salt
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1. Pour oil into a Dutch oven or soup pot and let it heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onion, carrots, and celery and mix well. Add a bit of salt and mix well.
2. Stir often until the onions are light brown. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few seconds until you get a nice aroma. Make sure the red pepper flakes do not get burnt.
3. Add broth and stir. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any burnt bits that may be stuck.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. To make bouquet garni: Hold bay leaves, rosemary, and sage together and tie them with kitchen twine.
6. Drop the bouquet garni into the pot. Add potatoes, artichoke hearts, and cannellini beans, and mix well.
7. When the mixture starts boiling, turn down the heat to low heat and cook covered until the potatoes are soft.
8. To make the gremolata: Chop parsley and basil leaves into very fine pieces. Place the herbs in a bowl. Add garlic. Finely grate the lemon peel directly into the bowl.
9. Add flaky sea salt and stir.
10. Turn off the heat. Pour half the soup into a blender. Blend until well pureed. Pour the soup back into the pot.
11. Place the pot over medium heat and stir in the kale. Let the kale cook until it wilts. Do not overcook the kale; it should be bright green in color.
12. Discard the bouquet garni. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if required.
13. Ladle into soup bowls and serve. Cool the leftover soup completely. Transfer the soup into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
14. Gremolata is to be served only in stage 4. To serve gremolata, top each bowl with gremolata and extra-virgin olive oil if desired.