Saturday, September 17, 2011

crock bean soup with kale

I knew I was behind but this is ridiculous!  I just counted, and even with my only intermittent cooking lately and the use of tried and true meals and take out pizza a little too often :)  I'm still 10 recipes behind in my posting.  One more today and I must get doing other things for the day.  
I chose this one just because it was very different for me.  It is the first thing I have actually made with kale.  I have bought kale a few times before and thrown it in my green smoothies, but I have never made a meal containing kale.  This made me excited to try this and of course a little apprehensive wondering if A it would taste good to me and B my kids would eat something with green stuff in it.  It went over pretty well though.  I liked it.  I did feel it needed just a bit more flavor.  I added extra salt and pepper to mine and it was fine.  I think maybe next time I'll add additional salt at the beginning of the cooking time - maybe let some sink into the beans.  I've read a lot on adding salt before, during or after to cooking beans, but I just felt like the center of the beans were a bit bland.  The overall soup was better (again with the extra salt and pepper.)  Some of the family loved it, some hated it, and others thought it was OK.
I found this recipe in my Saving dinner book.  I added more veggies and changed the beans - originals were cannellini, but in my grocery store those were $9 something a pound.  Kidneys were $.99.  Plus I'm not as big of fan of white beans anyway so kidney it was for us.  I did do another dumb thing and try to soak these in a quart jar ---Don't do it!!!  They grew way too large and then just got stuck in the jar and I had to dig them out.  No fun.  Seriously.  Choose a larger container.   Quart jars work great for 1 cup of beans.  I have no idea what made me think 1 lb would be fine.  Probably the fact that they fit in there just fine dry - only take up a little more than 1/2 of the jar.  Silly, silly me.  

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 extra large onion, chopped 
  • 4-5 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 pound kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (could have doubled this too I think)
  • 40-50 oz chicken stock (this is approximate - I used a 32 oz box and whatever was left in my other container maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of that box -original just had 3 cans of chicken broth - it depends on how soupy you want the finished product - more like soup, or more like chili)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (I actually used a Tablespoon of tomato powder because for some reason I was out of tomato sauce -same thing just not reconstituted and I had used a bit extra stock so I didn't want/need any more liquid)
  • salt and pepper (needed lots)
  1. In a large skillet, saute onions, in butter until soft, add carrots and garlic and continue to saute until carrots soften a bit or onions get nice and golden.  Add kale and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a slow cooker, place soaked beans, red pepper flakes and the contents of the skillet.  Cover with stock.  Cook on high 8 hours or until beans are tender.  Once beans are tender, add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste.


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