This is a good one for when you’ve forgotten about your kale and find it limp and sad-looking in the back of the fridge. It’s also great with fresh kale. The amounts here are mostly to get you started; like most soups it’s beautifully flexible. I used what I happened to have on hand, and it came out great.
- a lot of kale (1 big bunch) de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1-2 cans of white beans beans, something like great northern or cannellini (depending on how much you like beans)
- 1 lg onion, diced
- 1 large potato, diced
- small head of garlic, or 3 large cloves, peeled and smashed (no need to dice)
- 2qts + 5 cups (as needed) chicken or vegetable stock (you can use part water, too, but it’s not as flavorful)
- 1 lb cooked pasta (tortellini is nice)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 chunk of parmesan (1″ square), rind is best
- olive oil
- chopped fresh herbs to taste (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are nice here)
- salt, pepper to taste
- Sautee the diced onion with a bit of salt and the chopped herbs in olive oil until the onions are soft but not mushy.
- Drain the beans and toss them in with the onions. Add the diced potato as well. Sautee for a few minutes, mixing well.
- Put in the 2qts of stock, throw in the smashed garlic cloves and parmesan rind. This is a good place to add a bay leaf if you like. Simmer on med-low until the potatoes are softish.
- While the soup is simmering, boil the pasta until it’s just underdone. Set aside. You can put the pasta right in the soup to cook, but I’ve never had good luck with that.
- When the potatoes are softish (just before perfect), stir in the chopped kale. Stir regularly until the kale has totally wilted. Add the chopped tomatoes and the pasta, and stir until well mixed.
- If needed, add additional stock until you get a liquid level you like. If you have too much liquid, add another can of beans or more chopped kale.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and continue to simmer until the pasta is done to your liking and all ingredients are hot.
- Serve immediately with grated cheese on top and garlic toast on the side, or keep for later – it doesn’t freeze well, but will actually taste better after a day in the fridge, especially if you slightly undercooked the potatoes.
Also, if you’re wondering what to do with those white salad turnips, here are some ideas:
Glazed Hakurei Turnips
- 3 bunches baby hakurei turnips, baby turnips, or red radishes (about 2 pounds), trimmed, greens reserved
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Kosher salt
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. (if turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.) DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt.