Tag Archives: cumin

Kale & White Bean Soup

January 14, 2015

I love catching snippets of other peoples stories. I often find the words of strangers floating over the air and past my ears. Sometimes they are wickedly funny, and sometimes tender. They can be heartbreaking too and deeply relateable. 
I wouldn’t call it eves-dropping. I’m not leaning in close to hear a bit of juicy gossip or craning my neck to get a good look at the person on the phone. Its more passive than that, more like receiving a gift. A gift because it makes the individuals I am sharing the space with seem more real and just simply less like, the masses. 

Often, these little soundbites are good enough that I don’t want to let them pass by and so jot them hastily down. And every once in a while, I feel like I was meant to hear those words. That I was standing or walking past in that exact moment to hear that exact phrase. 
The other day it happen. As I was gazing out of the window at the London skyline: gherkin, shard, cheese grater … on a seemingly deserted train into Waterloo I heard, as if from nowhere, “Do you face into the wind?”

Do you know that feeling?When you stand, arms glued to your side, ridged as a board, bald faced with the wind whipping past your ears so fast its dizzying and all you can do is just brace. 

It stuck with me, I didn’t even need to write it down. I just kept repeating it over and over to myself. All day, and the next – turning it over, smoothing it down, wearing it away – until it shone. 

This recipe for Kale & White Bean Soup is for those days where you feel like you have spent the entirety of it facing into the wind. 
I have made it possibly hundreds of time – I don’t measure anything, I don’t count or figure, I just do. And in doing, is has become less of a recipe and more like a salve. 
It is a soup to warm the belly, clear away the cobwebs and bring you back into your self. The cumin and vinegar are the important parts really. You could use anything on hand otherwise (cabbage if not kale, kidneys if not cannellini, faro instead of potato) but below is my preferred ingredient list.

Kale & White Bean Soup

serves 4(ish)

1 large bunch of lacianto kale, chopped
1 16oz can cannellini beans
3 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/4 pieces (preferably scrubbed with skin on)
4 cups good quality stock
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic 
2 tsp cumin 
knob of ghee (or butter or evoo)
salt & pepper to taste 

In a large stock pot saute chopped onion in the ghee over low heat until soft and transparent. Add minced garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add in the cumin and toast until fragrant. Pour in the red wine vinegar. Cook until liquid is reduced by half and then add in the chopped potato. Saute a few minutes more stirring to coat the potatoes in the butter and vinegar mixture. Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender and nearly cooked. Then add the kale, cannellini beans and salt & pepper to taste. 
Simmer until kale is tender and potatoes are cooked through. 

Serve topped with a slice or two of parmigiano reggiano, a drizzle of olive oil & crusty bread. 

fruits of labor: top secret bean salad

July 22, 2009

this is my favorite salad to eat, make, bring, look at…. ok you get the idea. its colorful, flavorful, easy to make and generally fun! so im finally going to divulge my top secret fiesta salad recipe –

2 10oz. cans of black beans (you could make em fresh to but i see no need unless you are crazy)

2 ears of corn boiled or 2 8oz cans of whole kernel corn

1 4oz can of whole green chilies

1 medium sized orange pepper cut into small chunks

1 cup of finely shredded red cabbage (mandolin suggested)

1/4 of a small red onion

2 scallions

6 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of orange juice (fresh or otherwise)

1 1/2 limes zested and juiced

3 tsp of red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp of cumin

2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

ok i know it seems like a lot of ingredients but its gonna be amazing trust me – combine everything in a large bowl

drain and rinse black beans, add to bowl

drain and rinse corn if using canned or cut kernels away from cob after cooking – toast in a dry frying pan over high heat stirring constantly until skins are blistered, and dark brown (you will get a combo of all these looks but you don’t want to burn them just give them a true toasting) – then add to bowl

drain and rinse whole green chillies, dice and add to bowl

dice red onion and add to bowl

slice all parts of the scallions into 1/16″ rounds and add to bowl

cut orange pepper into small chunks and add to bowl

finely slice red cabbage (its easiest on a mandolin) and then run your knife through it a coupla times just to make the strands a bit shorter (so that later no one has to contend with them dangling half in half out of their mouth, ew)and add it to the bowl

then just add everything else except the cilantro and S&P. stir it with a rubber spatula so as not to mush the beans up. add S&P to taste, remember its a lot of veggies and beans so it may require more salt then you would have though – very last thing fold in the cilantro. cover and chill up to a full day ahead but at least 1 hour.