In the past, I've made this with lentils, but that bag of Great Northern beans (similar to cannellini beans, but larger) was too enticing to ignore. Instead of soaking the beans overnight, I put them in a pot covered with water, bring just to a simmer, then take off the heat to soak several hours. Then I drain the beans, rinse cold water over them, and put them back in the pot to proceed with the recipe. They do seem to keep their shape well using this method, instead of turning mushy too quickly. I also avoid adding salt to the beans until they're cooked, which can toughen the beans.
Prepare 2 cups dry Great Northern beans as above. Place the plumped beans in a stockpot and cover with half water, half chicken or vegetable stock.
Add to the plumped beans:
1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch hot pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups canned plum tomatoes, cut up, with the juices
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups torn kale greens, no stems. The kale is added just before serving, so set aside.
Simmer the herbs, onion, olive oil/butter, garlic, beans and tomatoes until the beans are soft, adding more water or stock if needed to keep the beans covered.
Taste the soup for seasonings and add kosher salt to taste.
Just before serving, turn off the heat and stir in the torn kale. Cover the pot for a few minutes, then serve the soup in big bowls, with a nice crusty bread and some sweet butter.
Enjoy these beautiful days!