- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 1 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread, crusts removed, each slice quartered
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1 large bunch thinly sliced kale
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can vegetable broth
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes (or use a small can, and add in your own fresh diced tomato)
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), drained
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add bread and 1 teaspoon thyme; cook until bread is golden on both sides, turning with tongs, about 2 minutes total. Transfer croutons to bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper to same pot; sauté over medium heat 30 seconds. Add kale and broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle ragoût into shallow bowls. Top with croutons and serve.
Test-kitchen tip: To cut fresh kale easily, roll leaves into cylinders and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
Adapted from Bon Appétit, March 2004