Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Ham, White Bean and Kale Soup
COMFORTING AND WARMING SOUPS have been the stars of our evenings. I actually dreamed this one. Do you dream about food? I do all the time. Sometimes my dreams are of a dish or recipe; other times, they are more obtuse.
Last night, I dreamed I was in a grocery store with our resident 5-year-old, searching for a package of cinnamon rolls. The dairy department was very under stocked and the shelves were garnished with kale, just like an old-time salad bar. I couldn't find any cinnamon rolls but eventually found a tube hidden amongst some kale. When I picked it up, I saw someone had already opened it and eaten most of the raw dough.
Where did that come from? Perhaps from all the snow and blizzard scares? You know how people panic and rush to the store for bread and milk when dire weather is predicted.
A few nights ago, my dreams were more pleasant. I was peacefully stirring a big pot of soup, while standing in my sock feet. Next morning, over my cup of tea, I was thinking of this dream. As I recalled the details and ingredients, I knew this was a dream I would make true and we all loved it.
I made this soup with a ham steak but if you have some leftover ham, even better. I also soaked 1 1/2 cups of dried navy beans, overnight. Feel free to use canned navy, great northern, or cannelloni beans if you don't want to take that step.
Ham, White Bean, and Kale Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ham steak, cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups navy beans which have been soaked overnight
5 cups soup stock or water
4 cups chopped raw kale
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil. Saute the onion and ham until beginning to brown. Stir in garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the beans and soup stock. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if needed. (Mine took about 1 hour).
Stir in the kale and tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes longer. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.