More Soup Please!

White Bean Soup with Kale and Italian Sausage

White Bean Soup with Kale and Italian Sausage

What happened to our early summer weather? Just when we New Yorkers were starting to forget about the coldest winter in recent years and beginning to complain about the humidity and heat in crowded elevators, temperatures suddenly drop?  And now we’re pulling out our sweaters again and craving hot bowls of soup?

Okay, fine.  So with my bones a little cold and wishing I’d not worn the linen skirt, I turned for comfort in my kitchen.

In my fridge I grabbed some summer greens, carrots and celery, four or five hot and sweet Italian sausages. Staring into the pantry I grab a can of organic cannelinni beans and a box of organic chicken stock.

Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients:

1 pound kale, stems (and veins, if desired) removed and leaves washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 scallion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large cellery stalk, chopped
1 cans cannellini beans, (29 ounce), drained and rinsed
4-5 Italian sausage (I used two sweet and three spicy) removed from casing
4 cups water
2 cups chicken stock, or reduced-sodium canned broth
Sea aalt and black pepper
4 thick slices country bread
Grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, scallion, carrot and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add sausage and cook until brown. Break up into smaller bits with a fork.

Add about half of the beans, and lightly mash with a fork. Add water and stock, and bring to a boil. Stir in kale, remaining beans, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer until kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Grate fresh Parmesan and enjoy.

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Kale, Chicken and Lentil Soup: Highly nutritious and warming in cold, winter weather

Kale, Chicken and Lentil Soup

Kale, Chicken and Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olivie Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I made mine from scratch)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed (or other leafy herb, such as Italian flat-leaf parsley)
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh kale (about 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup dry red lentils (I used one 15 oz can of Westbrae Natural Organic Lentils)
Directions:
Coat a large saucepan (I prefer my Le Creuset round French oven) with extra virgin olive oil (non-stick spray works too). Preheat over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to saucepan. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are nearly tender, stirring occasionally.
Add *chicken broth and dried basil (if using) to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in kale, salt, and pepper. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Stir in chicken, tomato, red lentils, and fresh basil (if using). Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more or until kale and lentils are tender.
Makes 6 servings.
*I made my chicken broth by boiling the 8 ounces of uncooked chicken breast in 6 1/2 cups of salted water.  Then used the chicken in the soup.

Kale Salad with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette, Grana Padana Cheese & Sliced Almonds

Kale Salad

Photo by Kevin Twomey

This salad is one of my favorites and packs a punch in complex vitamins and nutrients.  The taste is zesty and texture awesome, but the thing that really does it for me is the grana padana cheese and almonds -those two ingredients send this perfect salad over the top.

Kale is a super food, rich in Vitamin A, C & K.  It’s also known for lowering cholesterol and is rich in calcium.

“Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients,” says Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD WebMD Expert Column.

The recipe is so simple and quick to do. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Ingredients
• 1 large bunch curly kale (I have found that the organic varieties are more “frilly”)
• ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds
• 1 cup shredded grana padana cheese

• Lemon Vinaigrette:
• 1 shallot, minced
• 4 tablespoons lemon juice (meyer’s is my recent obsession).
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients that my daughter must have:

• 2 large red vine tomatos cut into large 1/4’s

• 6-10 baby carrots sliced at an 1/8″ angle

Instructions

Chop the kale, avoiding the stems and add to a large bowl along with the slivered almonds.

In a small bowl, combine the minced shallots and the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the kale and almonds with the dressing, coating all of the kale. Then add the cheese and gently toss to evenly distribute the kale.

Garnish with fresh lemon zest.

Serve in the bowl, or turn out onto a serving platter.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2