2 bunches Tuscan kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 loaf crusty bread
2 whole cloves garlic
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
In a 5 1/4 quart deep Dutch oven, cover beans with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover with lid and let soak 1 hour. Drain beans and set aside, reserving one cup of the soaking liquid. Rinse and wipe out the Dutch oven.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in the Dutch oven. When hot, brown the Italian sausage while breaking it into bite-size pieces. Remove to a plate. Add onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown fond from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half. Stir in chicken stock, bay leaf, nutmeg, herbes de Provence, reserved soaking liquid, cooked beans and sausage. Bring to a rapid simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook until beans are tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes. Skim any foam from the top of the soup as it cooks.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Raise heat to bring soup to a simmer. Add torn kale and immediately cover with the lid to trap steam inside and cook the kale. Cook 10 to 12 minutes until kale is wilted. Stir in vinegar. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
Slice bread and toast to a deep golden brown. Rub one side of each slice with a cut clove of garlic. Ladle the soup over a slice of bread in a wide bowl. Garnish with Parmesan, parsley and olive oil.