1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. pork, cubed (pork shoulder works best)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 medium or 1 large white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh chili pepper, jalapeño or cayenne, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, stemmed and finely minced
1 sprig rosemary, stemmed and finely minced
2 quarts stock: beef or pork for a heartier soup, chicken for a lighter soup
1/2 lb. cranberry beans, soaked overnight and previously cooked, or one 15-ounce can cannellini or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in medium dice
1 bunch or 8-10 leaves kale, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
Heat oil in a 6-quart saucepan.
Toss diced pork with salt and pepper and add to pan.
Cook pork until it is uniformly browned and remove from pan with a slotted spoon, allowing the juices and pork fat to remain.
Over medium to medium-high heat, add onion, garlic and chili pepper to the pan.
Cook 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft.
Add herbs and stir.
Add cooked pork, stock and beans and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 40 minutes, until beans are tender.
Add butternut squash, simmering 15-20 minutes until squash is soft.
Add kale and bring soup to a boil again.
Cover the pan, remove from heat and allow to rest 5-8 minutes before serving.