Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus 1 small piece rind
- 1 1/2 cups small pasta, such as ditalini (about 8 ounces)
- 1 15 -ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen chopped kale, thawed and squeezed dry
Put the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, tomato paste, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 6 cups water and the parmesan rind. Increase the heat to high; cover and bring to a boil.
Add the pasta and beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale. Simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind, stir in half of the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the remaining cheese.