You have to love this time of year....the markets are overflowing with produce! In the last two weeks I've managed to bring home squash of every variety, pumpkin, honeycrisp apples, peppers, tomatoes, borlotti beans, fava beans, kale, chestnuts, onions, raspberries, mushrooms, brocolli, potatoes....not to mention that I am still pulling beets, leeks, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, and chard from my own garden. I even brought in a few of my own apples....they aren't perfect, in fact most of them are too buggy to eat. You can see from the picture that they have a few spots but I'm going to try and make some applesauce with them.
In an attempt to make space in my fridge for the Thanksgiving turkey to defrost, I decided to make a pot of soup today. My first instinct was just to make a big minestrone, but then I picked up a cookbook to see if Jamie ever mentions kale.
296. La Mia Ribollita Preferita aka My Favorite Ribollita (Jamie's Italy, page 72)
JamieOliver.com recipe link
I bought my very first bunch of kale the other day. There were different varieties, but I settled on "dinosaur" kale. I had an inkling that it would be similar to cavalo nero, and I wasn't wrong. Jamie suggests either for this dense soup, and since I just happened to have shelled a bunch of borlotti beans, it was a perfect fit for the ingredients I had on hand.
The first step is to cook your beans by covering them with water, and adding a bay leaf and some squashed tomato. In another pot, sweat your finely chopped onion, celery, garlic & carrots, along with a pinch of fennel seeds & dried red chile, until soft but not darkened. Since I had no celery on hand, I substituted a patty pan squash. Add some tinned tomatoes, and simmer. Drain your beans, reserving some of the cooking liquid, and add them to the soup pot as well. Finally, add your finely sliced kale or cabbage, and some torn up stale bread. Add your reserved liquid if needed, and simmer for 30 mnutes until "silky".
I was just sitting down to a bowl of this when my daughter's friend showed up. To be polite, I asked her if she wanted some (figuring she'd say no) but she said yes! She also said it smelled amazing and tasted good. :) Apparently, she grew up eating kale on the farm so she wasn't put off by it. I liked the taste and the texture of this soup. Different from minestrone but not too different. Of course, I love bread in soups....something that I can attribute to my grandmother. I also love savoy cabbage, and kale is quite similar. I've heard it's one of the healthiest things you can eat!
This post has been linked to the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link
Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty!