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Tuscan-Style Pinto Bean Soup with Kale

From The Wednesday Market

<p>This soup has become our newest favorite and it is a easy, quick one to prepare. Do add the toasted bits of bread and enjoy&#8230;</p>
Source: off the internet (Entered by Brenda Fayard)
Serves: depends on how much you like this soup...

1-1/3 cups dried pinto or cranberry beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic,minced or crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
2 tomatoes, diced
1 lb. kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable stock (chicken if preferred)
6 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
3 or 4 slices lightly toasted Italian bread, cut into crouton-size piexes

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Prepare beans with package instructions. When beans are tender but not falling apart, drain and lightly mash some of the beans with a potato masher. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Toss in the celery, carrot, onion, garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until the onion turns a light brown, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes are slightly reduced, another 10 minutes. Now stir in the beans with the kale and add the vegetable stock and water Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the kale is tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lightly toasted bread and enjoy!