weedy wednesday: red kale (and recipe)

Remember a few weeks back I said my red kale was almost ready for harvest? I plucked the first few leaves this morning:


These early leaves are still pretty delicate, and they have a lovely and colorful red stem (thus the name).

Between this red kale and my existing plants, I’m about to be awash in kale. Which is a good thing, as it’s one of my favorite vegetables. This baby red kale is destined to mix with lettuce, but I also like to throw kale in with stir-fries, blend it up to make green smoothies, and add it to soups. So today I’ll leave you with a recipe for black bean kale soup, from my now defunct food blog:

Black bean soup with kale and tomatoes (serve ~8)

5 cups cooked black beans
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15oz can vegetable broth OR 1 carrot and 1 stick of celery, diced, plus a pinch each of oregano and thyme
3-5 c. water (depending on whether or not you are using stock)
1 bunch kale (approx. 1/2 lb), finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cloves crushed garlic (you can dial down the garlic if you like, I tend to load it onto everything)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust as desired depending on your heat preference)
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Assemble all your prepared ingredients.

2. In a large saucepan or soup pot on medium heat, heat the olive oil. When a piece of garlic dropped in sizzles, you’re good to go.

3. Add the garlic to the oil and saute for 1 minute. Add the onions and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. If you are not using stock, add the diced carrot and celery. Continue to saute until onions are nicely softened up and slightly clear (not carmelizing, although some carmelization will not ruin things, so don’t sweat it too much). Add the cumin and coriander.

4. Add kale into the mix and cover pot for 1 minute, kale should be lightly steamed. Remove lid and stir for a few more minutes, until kale is fairly wilted.

5. Add cayenne, vegetable stock (if using, alternatively add 2 c. additional water), tomatoes, 2 c. water, and black beans. Stir together and cover pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat down and leave soup to simmer for 30 minutes. Check occasionally and add additional water if needed. Salt and pepper to taste. I find it’s best to go light on the salt and pepper in the soup pot and then let people go with their own preference after it’s been served into bowls. Which leads nicely to step 6….

black bean soup + cornbread + salad
6. Turn off burner and ladle soup into bowls. Serve with salad and cornbread.

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