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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Autumn Soup #2-A Black and White Soup

In the U.S. I loved being able to get any type of produce any time of year. However, off season fruits and vegetables often don’t taste great, if fact many are downright tasteless. Now that fall is here and cooler weather has set in, I am able to get fresh strawberries, greens and fall fruits. When I saw black kale at the market, I immediately thought of making a healthy soup.

The first time I made a soup for my husband, a 3 hour Chinese ox-tail soup, he informed me he did not like brodo or soups. He ate the oxtail, the carrots, and the potatoes but did not drink the soup. I was furious. This soup however he loved and I made it quite hardy so the broth was kept to a minimum. This soup comes together quickly if the beans are ready/ready made.

A Black and White Soup
(w/black kale, white cabbage and white beans)
serves 4-6 as a first course

½-2/3 C. speck or pancetta or bacon, cubed into a ¼ inch dice
½ a leek or small white onion, slice the leek thinly or finely chop the onion
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 bunch of black kale, about 2 cups chopped, ribs removed
1-2 C. shredded white cabbage
2-15 oz. cans of white beans
Dash of red pepper
2-4 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 lg. bay leaf
1 t. fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

1. Heat a bit of olive oil is a large pot; add the pancetta/speck/bacon and sauté until all the fat is rendered.
2. Add leeks or onions and sauté until translucent, about 5-10 mins. Do not brown. Add the garlic, red pepper, bay leaf and ½ of the rosemary. Warm all the herbs and sauté until fragrant.
3. Add the broth and deglaze the pan. Now add the beans and kale. Don’t stir the beans too much as they tend to break up. The kale takes longer to cook than the cabbage. After 10 minutes of cooking check to see if they are soft and no longer crunchy when you bite into them.
4. Now add the cabbage, the other ½ of the rosemary, fresh pepper and let the soup come to a boil. After it boils, turn the heat off, cover and let rest for 10 minutes or more. This way the cabbage will cook but not turn to mush and the beans will absorb all the flavors of the soup.
5. Taste for salt and serve warm. Don’t forget the crusty bread for those non-broth people.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


At 3:49 PM, Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Gina, i've gotta tell you ... i haven't tried your recipes yet, but you missed your calling in food photography!! These pics are GREAT! :) A magazine should be begging you to contribute!

Looking forward to my cavolini di bruxelles nachos, soon! cheers, V.

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous alan said...

I agree with Viaggiatore-- that photo makes me want to cook this soup.

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Deborah said...

Coming to your blog is like entering a cook book.

Way to go.

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

This looks like a great soup to eat on a cold and rainy day (it seems to be all we have had this month). Can't wait to try it!


At 12:33 AM, Blogger traveller one said...

What is it about men and soup?! Mine also told me he didn't like soup, but in fact he does- if they're thick and creamy.
I'd love some tips on taking photos of food- I'm struggling with it!

At 12:56 AM, Blogger Judith in Umbria said...

You have leapfrogged into a new level of respect from me. You've just come back from Rome, and at a time when I would still be thinking about that pair of shoes in the window on Col' di Renzo, you're cooking, and for someone who doesn't like soup!
It must have been someone like the DH who is the reason why when they have very liquid fresh soups here, they put a slice of stale bread in the bowl before the soup. Or a garlic rubbed toast if the garlic serves the soup.

At 2:22 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all your great comments. I love food, I love drink and I love photos. To put them all together is such a fun thing to do. I must say my soups are getting better. There is still so much to learn and cooking is a great creative outlet for me. Thanks for all the support.


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