PREP - 3-5 Minutes; COOK: 25 Minutes
6 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/4" thick pieces
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (anywhere from 20-30 per pound is a good size)
2 small or 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
3-5 thyme sprigs
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 14-oz cans of great northern beans, strained and rinsed
2 cups chicken stock, low sodium
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups kale, stems removed and leaves sliced thinly
Slice the bacon crosswise into 1/4" thick pieces. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until browned and nearly crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel. Pour the bacon fat into a small, heat-proof dish, leaving behind about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pot.
While the bacon cooks, dry the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Use this time to mince the garlic, slice the shallot and strain the beans. Remember to stir the bacon often.
Set the bacon pot back over medium-high heat with the tablespoon of reserved bacon fat. Once pot is very hot, add the shrimp. You want to sear the shrimp on both sides very quickly, so a hot pan is key. After about 1 minute they should be bright pink and seared on one side, so flip and cook the other side the same way. Then, remove from heat and use the slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to the same plate with the bacon. The shrimp will not be cooked all the way through at this point.
Once shrimp is out of the pot, let the pot cool for about 1 minute. We don't want to drop the shallots into too hot of a pot. Once it's cooled slightly, set the pot back over medium heat. Add another tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat, the sliced shallots and the sprigs of thyme. Cook gently until softened, about 2 -3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in the white wine and scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan with your spoon. Simmer for another minute or so then add the white beans and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. This is a great time to prep the kale.
After simmering for 5 minutes, stir in the kale and shrimp. Simmer for 5-8 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through and the kale is tender. Finally, stir in the bacon and check seasoning. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle mixture into bowls and serve warm!