“The cooler months in North Carolina are absolutely our favorite time of the year. We both enjoy cooking together on our days off. We are all about cozy. We are lucky to have access to lots of amazing cheese from Goat Lady Dairy, so I try to incorporate cheese in many of our meals.” –Cheryl-Anne
For the soup:
1 lb. dried white beans
(Great Northern, cannellini or navy)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsps. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 5 cups chicken broth
2 qts. water
1 3-by-2-inch piece of
Parmigiano-Reggiano rind 2 tsps. salt
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper 1 bay leaf
1 tsp. finely chopped
1 lb. smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1⁄4-inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 lb. kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
For grilled cheese sandwiches:
4 slices sourdough or preferred bread
4 slices Lindale Farm cheese from Goat Lady Dairy
2+ Tbsps. salted butter
► In a pot, cover beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
► 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 of water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
► While soup is simmering, brown sausage in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
► 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.
► To make the grilled cheese, heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Place two cheese slices between two slices of bread. Press together to form a sandwich and place in the skillet. Cook until golden on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, adding more butter to the pan if needed, and cook until the other side
is golden and the cheese melts, 3 to 5 more minutes. Repeat for the second sandwich. Serve with soup.
Note: Cheryl says this soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.