Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kale - This is the way to do it.

I've never really liked cooked greens. Seems just like a slimy pile of something to me. But this winter I've been getting the Black-eyed Pea Soup at the Jimtown Store down the road and it has some greens in it - and they weren't slimy. So, I decided to try cooking some myself. I read a bunch of different recipes and here's the combo I came up with. Not slimy, it really just melted into the soup - it was so good I'm going to make it again this weekend! One of the key secrets was that I used my own homemade chicken stock - it is so much more flavorful - without all the salt - than the stuff in the can. Roast a chicken every couple weeks and you will have plenty of good stock.

Kale Bean Soup serves 4-6

1/2 pound dried cranberry beans soaked overnight (or, I happened to have some of them that I shelled this fall in my freezer - so no soaking required - and they cooked quicker but I'll give the time for the dried)
1 ham hock (or a couple thick slices of ham chopped if you are using fresh shell beans)
6 cups chicken stock
olive oil
1 onion sliced thinly
2 carrots cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 bunch kale (curly or dino) rinsed and then remove the tough stems, leave the ribs and coarsely chop.
1/2 pound of potatoes yukon gold cut into 1/4 inch slices
grated parmesan to serve

Put the beans in a large pot with the ham hock and the chicken broth and cook for about and hour and half, until almost tender. Remove the ham bone and chop up the meat and return to the beans. In another pan put some olive oil and saute the onions for about 10 min then add the carrots for another 5 min then finally the garlic for another couple min. Add this to your beans along with the kale and potatoes and cook for about 30 more min until all is tender and the kale has melted into the soup. Add more broth if you need to. S&P to taste and serve with a grating of fresh parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Now this is the way to get those good for you greens down! If you are using fresh shell beans - first off lucky you! Second I cooked them in the chicken broth with diced ham for about 10 min then added the rest - when they are fresh the ham hock doesn't have enough cooking time to be falling apart tender. Really, they only took 40 min to cook and no soaking. You have to spend the time shelling them in the first place - but it's worth it! and they freeze well!

Post Note: this weekend I think I'm going to try it without the beans and just do a potato kale soup version. Also, on the second day we had the soup I added a little bit of cooked tiny pasta - delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment