Bean Kale Soup with Poached Eggs

The soup has its origins in Tuscan peasant food, but with the addition of poached eggs it gets spiffed up and might even be deemed fit for the merchant class. It's great either way!

Bean Kale Soup with Poached Eggs 
Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Serves 8

Pour a glug of olive oil into a large stockpot. Over low heat, saute:
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 medium carrots, diced
1 large bunch kale, leaves only, chopped

Once vegetables are softened and/or wilted, add to stockpot:
4 cups cooked beans (2 - 15oz cans)
1 - 28oz can diced tomatoes
liquid (bean broth, stock, water) to cover by about 2"
salt and pepper, to taste

Cover and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast,
8 thin slices day-old Italian or country-style bread
and place one slice of bread at bottom of each 2-cup capacity ramekin.
Fill each ramekin with soup to about 1" from the top.

In a medium skillet, heat so it simmers gently:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
enough water, to a depth of 1 1/2" or more

Have ready:
8 eggs

Break 1 egg at a time into a small saucer and slide into skillet. Spoon a little of the simmering liquid over the egg as it cooks. Repeat with additional eggs, making sure you leave enough space between each egg. You may need to poach the eggs in a few batches depending on the size of your skillet. Cook eggs approximately 3 minutes. Whites should be set and opaque. Yolks should still be a bit jiggly.

Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place one on top of each ramekin. Sprinkle with:
grated Parmesan
grinding of black pepper
minced parsley

Serve immediately.

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