Tuscany is renowned for its soups; they're thick, heartwarming and abundant in seasonal ingredients. The most famous is arguably Ribollita, but Farinata di Cavolo Nero has come to be another favoured Tuscan delight. The soups of Tuscany all favour the inclusion of the region's green gold, Extra-virgin olive oil. Join our resident chef Francesco Marrucelli as he creates a delectable Farinata di Cavolo Nero, a classic soup with polenta and kale.
Lacinato kale has a long history in Tuscan cuisine. This plant is adored for a flavour slightly sweeter than regular kale, an embossed texture and its immune-boosting content. This herby taste is coated in creamy polenta and rinsed with boiled cannellini beans for a smooth soup packed with flavour. The cannellini beans' nutty aroma is drawn out after being soaked overnight, perfect in this porridge-like soup for a warming meal.
Farinata di Cavolo Nero
Serves 4 - Cook in 50 minutes plus overnight to soak cannellini
- 2 bunches lacinato/dinosaur kale, stems removed
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- ½ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- 400g cannellini beans, soaked overnight & boiled
- 250g polenta (cornmeal)
- Salt & pepper
Wash the kale, remove all the stems and coarsely chop. Blend half of the boiled cannellini beans in a food processor. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan, and sweat the finely chopped leeks.
Add the chopped kale and let it cook down for 5 minutes or so before adding the cannellini beans, blended and whole. Bring the mixture to boil, add the polenta (cornmeal) and mix by hand vigorously to avoid any lumps.
Cook for 40 minutes on low flame, stirring regularly — it should have the consistency of porridge. Serve while it’s still hot with a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and ground pepper. Buon appetito!