My husband loves vegetables. He has never met a vegetable he didn’t like. Sadly, I have. I like most veggies, but I’m not a fan of eggplant. It makes my mouth tingle and itch. (Does that mean I’m allergic to it? I don’t know.) I am picky about my tomatoes, celery, and onions. They have to be cooked, not raw. Unless the tomatoes and onions are raw in a Greek salad or a gyro. I don’t really like Kale all that much, either. It is a touch too bitter for me. I think that a lot of people have that relationship with kale. I do like it when it has been cooked and used in as dish to mask the bitterness.
When I bring my husband grocery shopping, he is always begging to get out-of-the-ordinary vegetables. (And I’m always begging to get ice cream or candy.) When I say, “I don’t know how I would use that all up,” he quickly promises, “I’ll make it! I’ll eat it and cook it and you wont even have to do a thing with it.” So last week, when the result of one of those tandem shopping trips was flavored milk straws for me and a humongous bunch of kale for him, I decided that I would try to help my husband along toward his goal of using up the mountain of kale. And I made this soup. It’s easy. Its tasty. It makes Kale taste good, not bitter.
To make it even easier, buy prewashed, pre chopped, bagged kale. And buy a bag of frozen stock pot veggies. My mix had carrots, onions, and celery. No chopping and peeling. Perfect!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced small
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- —Or— a bag of frozen stock pot veggies
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 1/2 salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 8 C. water
- 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 C. uncooked oriechette pasta, or an other small pasta like orzo or tubettini
- 1 big bunch kale, discard thick stems (about 5-8 cups, or to taste)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 large roasted red pepper from the jar, diced
- 1-2 TBSP chicken bullion, or to taste
- crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, for topping
1. Heat the oil in a large pot at medium-high heat, until it starts to bubble when you put a piece of onion in it. Add the celery, onion, carrots, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the water, beans, pasta, kale, and rosemary. Cover pot with a lid and bring it to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until the kale and pasta are tender. 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the roasted red pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Stir in some of the chicken bullion and crushed red pepper and then taste. Add more if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Just before serving, sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese.
Recipe idea adapted from Real Simple