A Recipe: White Bean and Kale Stew [And for the guys, Bacon!]
For luck and warmth in the New Year
This soup, much like the New Year, is a blank canvas. Ingredients can easily be added or swapped to suit whatever happens to be in your refrigerator and pantry. It hearkens from the days in the very dead of winter when the harvest stores dwindled and supplies were scarce.
Kale and navy beans provide a riff on the classic “beans and greens” for luck in the New Year. Small additions of sausage and bacon add just enough meat to flavor the soup, but not enough to make it heavy.
Red pepper flakes and chili powder give it a warming kick, but the Aleppo pepper is one of the most defining ingredients of the stew, providing smokiness and depth of flavor without additional heat.
Large bunch kale
1 can or about 1 ½ cups soaked and cooked navy beans
2 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
About six cups water (you can also use chicken broth, or some combination of the two)
2 hot or mild Italian sausages, sliced
1 piece bacon (optional)
4 Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, diced
1 ½ teaspoons Aleppo pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Place the single piece of bacon in the bottom of a heavy soup pot and heat over medium heat. Heating the pan and the bacon together will allow more of the fat to render from the meat.
- Once the bacon is crispy and the fat rendered, take out the piece of bacon and set aside.
- Add about two tablespoons of olive or coconut oil in the pan. Once the oil is hot and begins to spread quickly across the bottom of the pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for about three minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add the Aleppo pepper, red pepper flakes and chili powder, stir and cook about another minute.
- Next, add the sausage and cook until just browned before adding the potatoes and carrots. Stir to coat all ingredients with spices and cook another five to seven minutes.
- Strain the liquid from the beans, rinsing them under water to remove excess salt or brine and add to the pot.
- Then add the six cups of water or broth and stir. Bring soup to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer.
- Let stew simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve. And enjoy! Warmth to brighten even the coldest of January days!
PS: OK, Van wants to know, did you like the recipe? Email him from the contact page or hit us up on Facebook.com/SmithStrongPLC.