Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kale - not bad at all

Cheese Tortellini Soup with Cannellini, Kielbasa, and Kale
The Bon Appétit Cookbook Copyright 2006

2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces fully cooked smoked kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced I used a smoked chicken sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh fennel bulb I used celery
4 garlic cloves minced
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme I used some dried
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
10 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 cups chopped kale (about ½ bunch)
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini I used dried so I cooked them most of the way first
1 cup grated Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese I forgot this

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft and kielbasa is brown, about 12 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in kale and cannellini . Reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Add tortellini to soup. Simmer until pasta is tender but still firm to bite, about 5 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing grated cheese separately.

I bought a HUGE bag of kale to make baked kale and I was left with a ton of kale.  I happened to have some smoked sausage and cheese tortellini too so I decided to make this soup and I'm glad I did.

Why does kale get such bad press? I guess all the greens used to get maligned but I hope everyone has figured out that they can be pretty darn good. I loved the peppery taste of this soup and the kale was completely inoffensive and actually delicious. I added too many tortellini because I just wanted to use them up.  Next time I will add more kale and less tortellini. The dried tortellini worked really well here. They have a nice sharp cheesy flavor.

As much as I love kale, I still can't figure out that huge bag. I didn't find that it shrinks down as much as spinach but maybe I'm wrong. Heck, they don't even sell spinach in bags that large. What's the deal?


Mrs. L said...

I'm a recent convert to Kale. Love it in my start of the year black-eyed pea soup. I've actually never seen it bagged.

Alisha said...

Maybe I'll have to do this this weekend. I, too, have a huge bag of kale - and unfortunately it didn't get eaten this week. My 10 year old's favorite is baked kale - he'll eat it by the bowlful and get really excited when I make it. What can I say, he's weird :)

Cate O'Malley said...

I love kale too, but agree, it's hard to be creative enough to use it all before a) it goes bad or b) we get tired of so much kale in such a short amount of time. Soup looks delish!