Kale salads and kale chips, the darling vegetable dishes for a while, are still having an influence. Their ubiquity on dinner tables and at picnics led to such supermarket products as baby kale leaves. Once a specialty item of farmers markets, small, tender, young kale leaves can now be picked up, pre-washed, in plastic bins – ready to throw into salad bowl or saucepan.
Despite the modernization of the once overlooked green, sometimes they are more welcome in a simple, rustic preparation. The kale and bean soup is such a dish. Just a few ingredients and little actual work and you’ve got a hearty soup. Add some protein, if you like. Along with (or instead of) those listed, you could cook a few slices of bacon. Skip the hot pepper, or add more.
Then enjoy a bowl and contemplate the next vegetable trend.
Kale and White Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked white beans, or 2 (14-ounce) cans, drained, rinsed
1 quart chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium if canned
3 to 4 cups roughly chopped kale
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup cooked turkey or chicken, or cooked sausage (optional)
1 small fresh chile pepper, such a fresno or habanero, thinly sliced crosswise
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan; add the garlic. Cook until aromatic, 1 minute. Stir in the beans to coat with the oil.
Add the broth and kale; season to taste. Cover the pot; cook at a simmer until kale is wilted to your liking.
Stir in the turkey, chicken or sausage, if using. (If you choose sausage, cut it in thin slices crosswise.) Add the pepper slices. Cook just until heated through.
Per serving: 230 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 387 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
Yield: 4 servings.