Broccoli and Kale Soup

Broccoli-Kale-Soup2I’m a big fan of thick and creamy soups. In trying to eat a little healthier (have to do something to balance out the amounts of whiskey and bacon we consume!) I find that that combo leads to potatoes and/or cream being added to the soup. No ma gusta. Broccoli-Kale-Soup1Then the idea hit…beans. Loads of good stuff and nowhere near as heavy. Thanks to my CSA box from Fertile Grounds, I had tons of veggies to choose from when deciding what kind of soup to make. Given that my fridge and freezer were full of kale, it made the most sense. The broccoli though… that was a matter of ‘use it before it goes bad’. I admit, I’m a carnivore, most vegetables and I don’t see eye to eye. But I didn’t want the broccoli to go bad and I do want some green stuff in my body, so I figured why the hell not. Broccoli-Kale-Soup3

I was pleasantly surprised. It took a few batches to get the texture and flavor right…and I didn’t complain about eating those many batches. Seasoning is a big key. The salt, garlic and lemon combo give it a bright savory taste. The broccoli and beans make it nice and creamy, without the starch or cream. I like mine thicker, but you could add more water to thin the soup out. Also, the power of your blender/hand wand/liquefying device will determine the consistency. While mine isn’t the strongest, I’m actually ok with having a few bits of the kale and broccoli in there to help the texture. Regardless, as a king of the meats, I can tell you that anyone from vegans to your local T-Rex will enjoy this soup!
Broccoli and Kale Soupby WhiskeyBeard

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients:1 vidalia onion 7 garlic cloves1 can great northern beans5 cups kale6 cups broccoli1 cup vegetable broth2 cups water2 tbsp salt2 tbsp pepper1 tbsp olive oiljuice of 1 lemon
Roughly chop onion and garlic. In a medium to large pot on medium heat, add oil and heat until it shimmers. Then add onions, pepper and 1 tbsp salt. Cook until onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir often make sure garlic doesn't burn. Add stock and water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. While water comes to temperature, remove stem from kale and roughly chop it and the broccoli. Drain and rinse beans as well. Once pot comes to a boil, add beans and cook for 4 -5 minutes. Now, add broccoli first and then kale last so it's on top. This will allow it to steam, not boil. Cover with lid. Check pot every 2 minutes and cook no longer than 10 minutes. You want the kale to steam and brighten in color. Be careful not to cook too long, 8-10 minutes max. Overcooking will discolor kale and broccoli. When done, using either hand wand or blender, puree the mixture. If using a blender, do in batches and add back to pot when done. When fully pureed, add remaining salt (or more if you like) and lemon juice.

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makes eight servings?

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1″ pieces?
1 small red onion, sliced 1/4″ thick?
1/2 pound chanterelles or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cut into pieces?
1 garlic clove, finely grated?
1/4 cup red wine vinegar?
2 teaspoons sugar?
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard?
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil?
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper?
8 ounces hearty greens (such as mustard greens, spinach, or baby kale), torn?
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Cook onion in same skillet, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 6–8 minutes, using a slotted spoon, transfer to plate with bacon. Repeat with mushrooms. Remove skillet from heat. Add garlic, vinegar, sugar, and mustard, scraping up browned bits. Whisk in oil; season dressing with salt and pepper. Toss greens, warm dressing, bacon, onion, and mushrooms in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and top with cheese.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Duane Sorenson, Bon Appétit, October 2013


serves 4-6

4-6 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons minced shallot or onion (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
6 black peppercorns (optional)
1 large bunch of winter greens such as kale or beet greens
canola or olive oil or butter, for cooking
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red chili flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy skillet, cook the bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Whisk the flour into the bacon drippings. Whisk in the milk and if you like, the shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Let simmer for a few minutes and then pour it into a bowl to set aside. If you added the flavour bits, you’ll need to pour it through a sieve to get rid of them. Wipe out the pan. Roughly chop the greens, ditching the tough ribs. Heat a drizzle of oil and/or butter in the pan and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the kale (or other greens) and cook until it starts to wilt; add the garlic, béchamel, cream and chili flakes and stir to coat; cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the greens are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the bacon scattered on top.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Dinner with Julie, February 25, 2012


yields 4 to 6 servings

2 beets (about 14 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon slices (8 ounces), diced
1 large bunch kale (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar?Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash and trim the beets, removing both ends. Place them on a 12-inch square sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil packet and roast until the beets are fork-tender, about 1 hour.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until medium-crisp (or however you prefer your bacon). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Increase the heat to high and add the kale, stirring to coat in the rendered bacon grease. Cover and cook for a few minutes, and then add the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Stir to combine, cover and allow to wilt for 6 to 8 minutes.

Peel and cut the beets into chunks and add them to the kale. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Add the bacon, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.??bacon recipe courtesy of: Guy Fieri, “Backyard Bites,” Guy’s Big Bite, Food Network


serves four

4 slices bacon, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, ribs discarded and leaves minced
1 cup jasmine rice, prepared
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Heat a large skillet (or a wok) over medium heat on the stove. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Remove the bacon from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add the garlic and the kale to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the kale is wilted. Add the rice and toss well to combine. Add the sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Push the rice mixture to one side of the skillet and add the eggs. Cook, without disturbing, for 2-3 minutes, until mostly firm. Break apart with your spatula and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until no longer liquidy. Stir together with the rice mixture. Scrape the bottom of the pan well. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon. Drizzle with soy sauce. Stir well to combine. Serve immediately.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Sarah W. Caron, Sarah’s Cucina Bella, October 11, 2011


serves 6-8

3 tablespoons olive oil?
2 slices preservative-free, all-natural bacon, chopped into small pieces?
1 large onion, peeled and chopped?
2 large cloves of garlic, minced?
1 leek, trimmed and sliced thinly?
3 carrots, peeled and chopped?
2 ribs of celery, chopped?
1 zucchini, chopped?
1 potato, peeled and chopped?
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade?
1 15 oz. can of cooked chickpeas, preferably organic?
1 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes, with juice?
1 cup kale, chopped fine?
1 9-ounce package of high quality, all-natural cheese tortellini?
aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling, optional?
grated parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
parsley or basil pesto (recipe below)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for a couple of minutes, until they start to brown. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil along with the chopped onion, garlic and leek. Continue to cook, strirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened. Add the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, potato and stir around for a minute or two. Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go. Add a few generous pinches of salt (be judicious if your stock is salted already). Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Add the kale and the tortellini, and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve garnished with a spoonful of the pesto, a few drops of the aged balsamic, and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Parsley or Basil Pesto?
1 cup loosely packed basil or parsley?
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted?
2 cloves garlic, peeled?
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese?
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop, chop, and chop the basil or parsley some more by hand until it’s very fine…when you do this, you’ll reduce it down to about 1/4 cup. As you chop the basil, start to incorporate the other ingredients and chop them fine, too, until you have a lovely, finely chopped pesto. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Use as a garnish for the minestrone.

bacon recipe courtesy of: WinnieAb (member),


serves four

1 bunch of kale
8 cups canola oil
tempura batter (recipe follows)
½ cup fish sauce dressing (recipe follows)
¼ cup chopped, cooked thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint

Tempura Batter
2 cups rice flour
1 egg
1 cup cold seltzer water
Dash of salt

Whisk all ingredients until they just come together.

Fish Sauce Dressing
½ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove minced
1 Serrano chile

Whisk all ingredients together.
Stored in the fridge, this will keep for a couple of weeks.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
Tear kale leaves off of the stems, and cut larger leaves in half.
Boil kale in salted water for 1 minute.
Strain into colander and spread out onto a sheet tray.
When cool enough to handle squeeze out all of the water from the kale.

Heat 8 cups of canola oil in a wide high-sided pot to 350º.
In a large bowl put fish sauce dressing, cilantro, mint, and bacon.
Dip the kale into the tempura and place into the oil.
It is important to try and separate the leaves as it goes in the oil to avoid clumping.
Fry for 30 seconds.
Using a spider,
take kale out of oil and place into the large bowl.
Toss the kale so all the ingredients coat it.
Place into individual bowls.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Johanna Ware, Smallwares, 4605 NE Fremont Street, Portland, Oregon | via Edible Manhattan, the edible blog, September 6, 2012