Sunday's Dark Days meal saw us reaching for something fresh and something from the freezer for dinner. With a bag of fresh salad greens and a butternut squash from Saturdays Winter Farmers Market we decided to roast the squash with some onions and add it to our salad along with the delicious 'Herdsman's Cream' cheese I picked up at the market. To compliment the salad and to warm our very cold stomachs we defrosted a great Kale & Bean soup.
Fresh salad greens in the dead of winter was certainly a welcome treat!
The soup was great on a cold night, and the leftovers made a perfect lunch on a Monday afternoon that saw temperatures dip as low as -3 Fahrenheit!
Kale & Bean Soup
1-2 lbs kale
1 large yellow onion
3-4 potatoes peeled and chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
8 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1 lb cranberry beans
1 hot pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
**To make this dish vegetarian friendly I cook and add the sausage when I want a portion for me. However I have included the sausages in the regular recipe and preparation. Feel free to omit them. I defrosted the soup on Saturday afternoon and cooked a sausage for my portion as the soup heated up. Generally a dish like this calls for chorizo or languica, but I substituted hot Italian lamb sausage and it was a perfect fit.
-Slice sausage, and cook in olive oil with onion and garlic. Add garlic last so it does not completely brown. Add liquid and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
-Rinse Kale and tear into bite size pieces, discarding the stems.
-Add Broth, potatoes, carrots, and kale. Simmer for 30 minutes.
-Add Beans and simmer an additional 15 minutes, or until beans are fully cooked. I used dry beans and had to soak them overnight.
This is a great soup to make ahead of time and freeze. I made this recipe in mid-November when I had just harvested my Kale and froze it.
I served the soup with some of the Cheddar & Leek muffins I made back in November.
Local Ingredients in our Soup & Salad: Salad Greens & Butternut Squash (Red Fire Farm), Onion for Salad (Allandale Farm), _____ Cheese (West River Creamery), Carrots, Onion, & Potatoes for Soup (Kimball's Fruit Farm), Hot Lamb Sausage (Stillman's Farm) Kale, Beans, & Hot Pepper for Soup (My Garden), Garlic (Linabella's Gourmet Garlic & Allandale Farm).
Between the great Viking themed dinner we attended on Saturday & a great local dinner Sunday I felt like it was summer again with the abundance of local produce I got to enjoy over the weekend!