Califonia Bountiful

Asparagus soup with dino kale, white beans, Parmesan Reggiano and prosciutto

This soup is one of Moro Italiano Executive Chef Mindy Oh's favorite ways to eat beans: "It's warm and savory, and the umami from the Parmesan Reggiano makes it hearty without being too heavy."

Chef Mindy Oh
Mora Italiano, Los Angeles

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1 cup white beans
1 medium carrot
1 yellow onion
1 shallot
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup butter
Asparagus bottoms (left from polenta and radish recipes)
Salt, to taste
6 slices prosciutto
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch dino (lacinato) kale, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano


Soak beans in water overnight to help ensure a more even cook. Tip: Adding a pinch of baking soda to the water helps further soften the beans.

Cut carrot, onion and shallot into 1/4-inch cubes and smash garlic cloves. In a saucepot, add butter. Turn heat to medium-high and add carrot, onion, shallot, garlic and asparagus. Let vegetables cook together until they start to smell fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. 

Add beans to pot with enough water to cover, then turn heat to high. Stir in 1 tsp. salt or to taste. Once water starts boiling, reduce heat to medium and let beans cook until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and gently let beans and stock come to room temperature. Beans can be made the day before.

Cut prosciutto into small strips. In a cold sauté pan, add olive oil to cover the pan, then add prosciutto. Turn heat to medium and let the fat from the prosciutto render out to help get strips crispy. (You can either leave the crispy strips in the pan or remove to use as a garnish.) Add kale and sauté until the leaves lose their stiffness, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans and some of the stock and bring to a soft simmer. Add cheese and, if set aside as a garnish, prosciutto.

Serves 3 to 4

Photo: © 2021 Lori Fusaro

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