- 1 cup dry pinto, kidney, or Scarlet Runner beans
- 1 small whole onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 small carrot
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 strip of Digitata kelp (6″)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large leek cleaned and sliced into rounds
- 1 large cloves garlic sliced
- 2 carrots sliced into thick rounds
- 1 stalk celery sliced thick
- 1 medium parsnip sliced into thick half-moons
- 1 tsp dried Thyme savory or sage leaves or a combination of all three
- 2 cups kale cut into 2″ strips
- 1-2 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp parsley minced for garnish
- Sort beans into a strainer and rinse several times. Place beans in a large soup pot or cast-iron casserole with lid and add water to about 2 inches above the top of beans. Include with the beans the Digitata, the whole onion, stalk of celery, cut in half, carrot, cut in half, and bay leaf.
- Bring beans to a boil briefly. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for at least 1 hour.
- After the beans have soaked, add more water to return the water level to 2 inches above the beans and bring all to a boil. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours or until a bean can be crushed easily with the back of a spoon. Check pot occasionally for water and add more if needed. If using a pressure cooker, seal lid, bring up to pressure, turn to low heat and cook 40 minutes.
- While beans are cooking, prepare vegetables. In a medium frying pan, sauté leeks and garlic in olive oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid browning too much. When leeks are soft, add celery, carrot and parsnip to the pan and toss with leek mixture. Add herbs to the vegetable mixture and set aside until beans are cooked.
- When beans are tender, carefully remove and discard the onion, celery, carrot and bay leaf. Stir in the Digitata, which should be very soft and falling to pieces. Drain off all but about an inch of liquid from the beans and set aside. Add the sea salt and pepper to the beans and mix well. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the bean pot and stir in. Add kale and a little of the reserved cooking liquid if needed.
- Return the bean mixture to a simmer and cook, covered, for another 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have blended. Taste for salt. Garnish with minced parsley and serve with a salad and brown rice.
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