Grano with Kale Soup (Zuppa de Grano Con Cavolo Nero)

  • 1 cup grano or Pearled Soft White Wheat (ND)
  • 1/2 pound borlotti beans (pinto beans are similar)
  • 1 1/4 pounds canned tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 ounces pancetta
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 8- inch rib of celery
  • 2 kales ((about a pound if the leaves are individual), washed well and coarsely shredded. If you cannot find kale, use Savoy Cabbage instead., about aif the leaves are individual)
  • olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine 8 cups water, salted as you would for pasta, and Grano in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring frequently, until Grano is tender but still chewy, about 30-35 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Cook the beans until close to being done in very lightly salted water. Blend the beans, reserving the liquid.
  3. Mince the pancetta, onion, celery and carrot, and sauté the mixture in 1/3 cup olive oil (or 1/2 if you prefer) over a low flame. Once the mixture has browned lightly stir in the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes more, then add the kale and continue cooking until it wilts. Stir in the blended beans and the water they cooked in, add the Grano, and simmer the soup for 2 hours, stirring frequently. Should the soup become too thick add boiling water. Check seasoning towards the end of the cooking time, and then let the soup sit covered for an hour before serving it, with olive oil on the side.