Photo: Yunhee Kim; Styling: Robyn Valarik
Total Time
6 Hours 30 Mins
Serves 4 to 6 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Day-old bread thickens this soup from Cathy Whims of Nostrana in Portland, giving it a custardy texture. The soup has a spicy kick, so cut back on the chile flakes if you'd prefer a milder flavor.

How to Make It

Step 1

Soak beans in a bowl with water to cover at least 4 hours (at least 6 hours if using Corona) or overnight. Drain, put in a 5- to 6-qt. pot, and add 2 qts. broth, 6 garlic cloves, the sage, and 1/4 tsp. chile flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, 40 to 80 minutes, adding 1/2 tsp. salt during last 15 minutes.

Step 2

Fill another large pot about three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Submerge kale and boil gently until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, then coarsely chop.

Step 3

Heat 1/3 cup oil over medium heat in pot used for kale. Chop remaining 4 garlic cloves and add to pot with remaining 1/4 tsp. chile flakes and the rosemary; sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add anchovies and kale and cook a few more minutes. Stir in beans and their liquid. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 4

Stir bread into soup with pepper and salt to taste. Cover and let stand until bread is very soft, 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 5

Reheat soup over medium heat until steaming, adding more broth if you'd like a looser texture. Ladle into bowls and add pecorino and a drizzle of oil.

Step 6

*Get Corona beans (large, plump white beans) from

Step 7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nostrana, Portland

Ratings & Reviews

jarnolduf's Review

June 13, 2013
This soup was good, but I didn't think it was worth all of the work. I used canned beans, didn't add extra salt, but otherwise followed the recipe. The flavor was rich and not too salty. We used extra ciabatta bread for dipping in the broth. I'm not sure if I'll make this again, but it was a good use of kale.

RonaldWhorton's Review

July 27, 2012
Outstanding. I like this for large groups, family reunions, etc. make up large batches in advance and reheat.

AHuggins's Review

February 29, 2012

tripeach's Review

February 17, 2012
Loved this soup but made some modifications. I made a vegetarian version subbing vegetable broth for the chicken, and capers for the anchovies. Also, I used some crutons I had previously made as that is what was on hand. Turned out fantastic and my husband voted it a "make again".

bratster's Review

January 31, 2012

cascadia's Review

January 29, 2012
Incredibly tasty. I don't like anchovies, so didn't include them, but did add some bacon. The ciabatta absolutely makes this soup.

SueRego's Review

January 29, 2012

papergirlie's Review

January 19, 2012
We threw the entire pot of soup away. what a shame. the anchovies were WAY too overpowering and rendered it inedible.

frameuser's Review

January 14, 2012
Loved it! I didn't have time to soak beans, so I used canned and it came out just fine. Also had some leftover ham, so I diced it up and threw it in. This soup is full of flavor and as far as the anchovies go, if you know that you that your family doesn't care for anchovies, why use it? Of course, you'll have to add more salt to compensate and you'll also loose some depth of flavor. I also tried it without the cheese and poured it over a bowl of steamed rice. Loved it.

Theresa415's Review

January 11, 2012
If you're an anchovy lover, perhaps you'd like this. Not well received by my family. The aroma and flavor of anchovies overpowered everything else. I'd try it again without the anchovies because the rest of the flavors had potential.