Ingredients: ½ pound (227 grams) dried cannellini beans (soak the night before) or 3 cups of canned beans, rinsed and drained 3 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for serving if desired 4 ounces (113 grams) pancetta, diced small 2 cups (300 grams) diced onion (1 jumbo or 2 medium) 3-4 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced 1 cup diced carrots (about 3-4 medium) 1 cup diced celery (about 3-4 stalks) 1 cup diced fennel ( 1 medium) 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 28-ounce can (794 grams) petite diced tomatoes 4 cups chopped kale (most of a head, ribs cut out, then chopped) ½ cup fresh chopped basil leaves 4 cups (1 liter) chicken broth, preferably homemade 2 cups sourdough bread cubes, crusts removed ½ cup or more grated Parmesan cheese Directions 1. To soak the beans overnight: In a large bowl, cover the Cannellini beans with cold water to cover by several inches. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight. If you’ve forgotten to soak the beans overnight, use this quick soak method. Rinse the beans in cold water, place them in a large pot and cover with cold water by about 3″. Bring the beans to a strong simmer, cover and remove from the heat. Allow beans to sit for an hour or two. The beans are ready to use as if they were soaked. 2. Drain the beans and place them in a large pot with 8 cups ( 2 liters) of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue simmering until beans are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Set the beans aside in their liquid to cool. 3. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Add the oil to the pot and over medium-low heat cook onions until they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the drained pancetta, carrots, celery, fennel, salt, black and red pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved juice, kale, and basil and simmer another 7-10 minutes. 4. Drain the cooled beans, reserving the liquid. Puree half of the beans with a little of the liquid in a blender. Add bean puree to the pot with the vegetables, then add the remaining whole beans. Discard the remaining bean liquid. (in a hurry, skip the puree and just add the beans). 5. Add chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add bread cubes and simmer another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a little more olive oil or extra chopped basil if desired.