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.