One thing I am really enjoying about Community Food Coop is their endless and enticing bulk section. I love that I can to there to get just the right amount of spices and other dried goods like the dried organic navy beans for this delicious soup recipe. You can find the full recipe for Navy Bean Soup with Rosemary and Kale at http://www.blogger.com/www.myrecipes.com.
Start by covering 1 1/2 cups dried navy beans with 2 inches of water in medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand one hour then drain.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a whole head of garlic with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 45 minutes or until garlic is soft. Set aside to cool.
Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large stockpot. Add two chopped onions and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. I decided to veer from the recipe here and include two pieces of chopped thick bacon as well which brought a lot of additional flavor. After about 20 minutes, add four stalks of diced celery and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Squeeze 10 cloves of the roasted garlic out of their peels and into the onion mixture. Stir for 60 seconds until fully incorporated.
Add beans, two quarts of chicken stock, two bay leaves, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Tear one large bunch (about 8 cups) of Kale and add to soup. Simmer another 10 minutes until Kale is wilted. Chop 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary, stir into soup, and remove from heat. Ladle servings into individual bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish and dig in!