Harvest Bean Soup

By Ginny Bucciaglia
1 bag dried 12-bean assortment                     
1-bunch kale, rough chopped
1 onion, chopped                                            
6 garlic cloves, chopped
14 oz. canned tomatoes, pureed                     
6 celery stalks, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed                                            
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ cup olive oil                                                
½ tsp thyme
1 tsp basil                                                       
1 tsp salt 
½ tsp pepper
Put entire contents of 12-bean assortment bag in a medium pot or glass jar with cold water.  
Let the beans soak at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse the beans.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the chopped kale and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove kale with a slotted spoon and set aside.  
Add the beans, return the water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer beans for 1 hour or until fully cooked.  
Check the water level and add more to keep beans covered while cooking.  Drain and discard the water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and sauté the onions and 4 chopped garlic cloves until onions are translucent.  
Add 6 cups of water and tomatoes, celery and potatoes; bring to a boil and season with thyme, basil, salt and pepper.  
Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 1 hour or until vegetables are just tender.  
Add the cooked kale, cooked beans, and the remaining 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Continue cooking until kale is tender.  
Adjust seasonings, as desired. Serve with crusty bread, grated cheese and fresh ground black pepper.