Our summer meals are casual, with some simple tablescaping from time to time. Unless it is raining, we dine al fresco. Sometimes, the butterflies and dragonflies join us.
This summer, the Toscano kale ("elephant kale") is the most beautiful shade of green. And very abundant. My favorite way to use the kale, is in this healthy and delicious soup. I'll be freezing some for winter use.
Sun-dried Tomato, Kale and White Bean Soup
3 TB. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 medium potato, diced into 1/2" pieces
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups canned (or fresh) tomatoes
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 TB chopped, fresh, oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
6-7 large kale leaves, chopped (3-4 cups)
1/4 cup cooked or canned (rinsed, drained) white beans
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fennel seeds; cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add onion, potato and carrot, stirring for 5 minutes more.
Add the fresh or canned tomatoes. Pour in the stock. Stir in the bay leaves and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat so that it continues at a simmer.
Add the kale, beans and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I could eat just soup for dinner, but my DH prefers some meat on his plate. I roasted some yellow squash, onions and tomatoes and rosemary, and grilled some chicken breasts.
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