Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Salt and pepper, to taste
6 ounces (1½ cups) small pasta such as ditalini, mini penne, or elbow macaroni
5 cups cooked cranberry or borlotti beans
2 cups cooking juices from the hens,
fat discarded
1 cup chicken stock
1 bunch fresh kale, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
Leftover meat from the Cornish hens (if any), cut into shreds
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan
¼ cup olive oil

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1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Drain into a colander but do not rinse.

2. Set the pot over medium heat, add the beans, cooking juices from hens, and chicken stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they come to a simmer.

3. Stir in the kale. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Stir in the pasta and any leftover hen meat. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

4. Serve in large soup bowls with Parmesan and olive oil sprinkled on top. Sally Pasley Vargas