from Serious Eats
Feel free to add or sub in from the box: spinach for kale, romanesco, sliced bok choy, shredded cabbage (not too fine), or even broccoli florets. A squeeze of lemon on top always goes a long way too.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, diced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash
1 turnip, peeled and diced
3 large celery stalks, diced
1 bunch kale (stalks removed, and roughly chopped)
1 bouquet garni (herb bundle made from a few sprigs each of mixed herbs, such as parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf)
2 cups cooked beans, such as cannellini, navy, or cranberry, plus 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or water
½ loaf fresh or stale rustic crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on top
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat with garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and very lightly golden. Add onion, leek, carrots, squash, turnip, and celery and cook, stirring, until slightly softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add enough water to slightly cover vegetables (about 6 cups; 1.5L) along with kale and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain simmer and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in beans and their cooking liquid (or 1 cup water if using canned beans). Add bread, stir well, and simmer until bread is very soft and breaking down, about 15 minutes. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, if soup becomes too thick and dry.
Season with salt and pepper. The soup can be served at varying consistencies: more wet and broth-y, like a thick, chunky soup, or cooked down until thickened like a porridge. Top with grated cheese and a healthy bloop of good quality olive oil on top.
Optional Adventure Bonus: Once reduced to a thick porridge, you can ladle some of it into a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon oil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it coalesces into a dense mass; it will eventually take the shape of a pancake. (If your flipping skills are good, you can flip it to serve it browned side up.) Slide it onto a plate. To serve at any consistency, drizzle with fresh olive oil and top with freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese (optional).