- Heat olive oil in Le Cruset dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and dried red pepper flakes. Cook 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until partially softened.
- Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the kale and cook until it starts to wilt, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes and 2 BOU Vegetable Cubes (crumble into pot with your fingers). Then add 4 cups of water.
- Add thyme, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind (if available) and bring to a simmer. Stir gently.
- In a small bowl, pour about 1/4 of the cannellini beans with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid and mash them together with a fork to form a paste. Pour the paste and the remaining whole beans into the soup and stir to combine. (The mashed beans will help to thicken the soup as it cooks.)
- Simmer the soup with the lid slightly ajar, about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but still al dente.
- Add the bread and simmer, partially covered, for another 5 to 7 minutes. The bread will start to dissolve into the soup and thicken it further.
- Before serving, remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon the stew into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. BOU Appetit!
Recipe inspired by Food52 Tuscan Ribollita