We live in zone 6a and I have been gardening and cooking for years. This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my success and those failures that come about on occasion. Plus, I want to hear from all the gardeners and bakers and cooks out there and learn from you. Feel free to share your ideas.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

First Harvest - Kale.

There is only one thing that I will make with kale from the garden and that is soup.
The below is a wonderful recipe from BonAppetie magazine. I did make revisions however. The pancetta was replaced with 12 ounces of mild Italian sausage. I did not drain the tomatoes, but used a cup of the juice and eliminated a cup of water. I also eliminated the bay leaves, leeks,  and the Pistou.




  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Parmesan rind (about 2 ounces; optional)
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans, cooking liquid reserved if desired, or two 15-oz. cans, rinsed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into ½” pieces
  • ½ bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 1” pieces

Pistou And Assembly

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Preparation


    • Tie oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine.
    • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add pancetta, if using, and cook, stirring often, until browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, and red pepper flakes; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring to coat, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.
    • Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go, then herb bundle, Parmesan rind, if using, and 6 cups water or reserved bean cooking liquid, or a combination. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Add kale and beans; cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind and herb bundle.
    • Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead (or 2 months if frozen). Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.

    Pistou And Assembly

    • Pulse garlic and basil in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest; season with salt. Serve soup topped with pistou.

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