This simple cold-weather soup is an easy go-to when you crave comfort—creamy and full of body, yet not as heavy as other dairy-based soups. The golden color of the broth comes from the sautéed onion and carrot; keep an eye on the mixture as it cooks to make sure it doesn't overbrown. Make the croutons and stem and chop the kale while the soup simmers.
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup peeled chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add carrots and onion; sauté 7 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in stock, 1 cup water, pepper, salt, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in kale, milk, and Parmesan cheese; let stand 5 minutes.
Preheat broiler with oven rack in top position.
Place bread pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic in a bowl; drizzle over bread. Broil 2 minutes or until golden, stirring once after 1 minute. Place 1 1/2 cups soup in each of 4 bowls; top evenly with bread pieces.
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