4ouncesParmesan rindsenclosed in cheesecloth or muslin
4ouncesfreshly grated Parmesan cheese
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1poundbaby kale or baby spinachstemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
¼cupchopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
In a large Dutch oven, add oil, butter, onion, celery and fennel. Cook over medium heat until vegetables have softened. Add garlic, thyme, fennel seed and red pepper flakes; cook an additional 30 seconds.
Deglaze the pot by adding white wine while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.
Add chicken stock, bay leaf, drained beans, Parmesan rinds, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer 20-30 minutes or until liquid has reduced a little.
Add kale or spinach, stir well and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until soup has reduced to your liking.
Discard the Parmesan rind and bay leaf.
Season to taste with additional salt & pepper.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.
This soup is still delicious without the addition of kale or spinach.