Adapted from a Washington Post recipe.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (8 ounces), chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely grated
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
8 ounces curly kale or Tuscan black kale, stemmed and chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
8 ounces orzo (in Italy it is risoni)
5 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated, plus more for serving
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Pour in the stock, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add the kale and chickpeas. Reduce the heat to medium, so the liquid is simmering, and cook until the kale is tender, 20-25 minutes. You can do all this ahead. Bring back to boiling and add the orso (?) and cook until done.
Add the cheese and butter and stir vigorously (without splashing) until the butter is melted, then stir in the pepper and salt. Scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent too much cheese from sticking; some is inevitable. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper as needed.
Divide among serving bowls, add a little more cheese and pepper to each bowl, and serve hot.