1small bunch Tuscan kale,ribs and stems removed, chopped
2cupscubed crusty Italian bread,day old or stale
Grated Parmesan cheese, extra bread cubes, and fresh basil,for serving, optional
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, broth, thyme, basil, rosemary, bay leaf, Parmesan rind, and beans. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir until combined.
Simmer the soup with the lid slightly ajar for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Remove the lid and stir in the kale.
Add the bread and simmer for 5 minutes or until the bread starts to dissolve into the soup and the soup thickens.
Remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Discard. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese, extra bread cubes, and fresh basil, if desired.
If you don't have day old bread or stale bread, you can dry it out in the oven. See tips on the post. This is a thick soup. If you prefer more liquid, you can add more vegetable broth.