A chunky, flavorful vegan soup with Cannellini Beans and Italian herbs. You can use either dry or canned beans, see notes below.
If you are using dry beans: Soak 1 C. cannellini or other white beans overnight the night before making the soup, then drain and rinse.
Clean 2 Leeks, removing the darkest leaves and dicing the rest of the leek.
Wash and trim the bottoms and leaves off 6-9 Celery stems, then dice. You want 2 Cups.
Scrub and rinse Carrots, then chop into bite-sized pieces to make 2 C.
Heat 3 T. olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot. Add a dash of hot pepper flakes and the Leeks. Saute over medium heat until the leeks soften, then add the celery and carrots. Continue sauteing, stirring frequently, until the leeks begin to brown and caramelize. Sprinkle in dried or fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary and/or marjoram).
Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic, and add along with the herbs.
Add 12 oz. of diced canned tomatoes along with their liquid. Stir into the other ingredients and saute until they begin to bubble.
Add 1 C. red or white wine and stir until it boils.
Add 3 C. vegetable broth and 3 C. water.
If using soaked dry beans, add them now along with another 2 C. of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for at least 1 hour, but preferably longer. (You can also put everything into a slow-cooker and simmer overnight or all day).
At this point, taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste.
Scrub and finely dice potatoes to make 2 C. Add to the soup and cook another 40-60 minutes. You want the potatoes completely soft but not falling apart.
Remove the stems from 1 bunch of Kale (you can also substitute Chard). Roughly chop the greens. Add to the soup and allow it to come back to a simmer.
If you are using canned beans, drain 2 12-oz cans of Cannellini or other white beans, rinse and add to the soup along with the greens.
Before serving taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.