Smoky Kale-and-Bean Stew with Cheesy Croutons
No need to soak or cook the black-eyed peas ahead of time—a stint in the spicy broth is all it takes for tender beans.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 whole clove
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups stemmed and chopped lacinato kale
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 5 ounces Idiazábal cheese, grated, divided
- Sea salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 1-inch-thick baguette slices
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and smoked paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, black-eyed peas, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until beans are just tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add kale and simmer 10 additional minutes. Add red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and 1 ounce of cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove and discard bay leaves and keep soup warm over low heat.
- Meanwhile, make the croutons. Heat broiler and halve remaining garlic clove. Rub bread slices with garlic clove and broil directly on oven rack until just toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, top with equal portions of grated cheese, then return to the oven for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Once croutons are done, ladle soup into bowls and top each bowl with a crouton. Serve.
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