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1 pound dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannelloni or navy

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

5 cups chicken broth

2 quarts water

one 3 by 2 inch piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf (not California)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 pound smoked sausage such as kielbasa, sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick

8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½ inch pieces

1 pound kale (preferably lacinato, also sometimes called Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale or flat black cabbage) stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

provolone toasts to accompany

1. Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. (Or, soak beans overnight in water to cover by 2 inches. Drain and rinse under cold tap water when you are ready to start cooking.)

2. Cook onions in oil in an 8 quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

3. While soup is simmering, brown the sausage in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

4. Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage and remaining quart of water and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. (Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.)

adapted from Gourmet Magazine, February, 2002

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