Monday, 13 July 2009

GYO Potato, bean and kale soup

While feeding Sylvia a few weeks back, I read a silly article in the weekend newspaper about a guy who has a little book with a list of 28 things he looks for in his ideal woman. He is still looking. One of his uncles told him that he is like a man going through the forest looking for a straight stick but that no sticks are completely straight.

The idea of searching for an ideal made me think of surfing the net and diving into all my cookbooks in search of a dish I have in my head. A dish such as an Italian potato, bean and kale soup. I swear I have seen it written down but it was nowhere to be found. (Update: I think I was thinking of Portuguese soup called Caldo Verde.) So I was delighted to finally do away with recipes and find that my own version was exactly what I was seeking. The potato and beans created a pale flavoursome creamy soup that had dark ribbons of kale and bright chunks of carrot. I felt like I had found a straight stick in the forest! Or maybe I am just easily pleased.

Not only was the soup hearty and satisfying, but it was an excellent use for some of my home made stock from the freezer and the tuscan kale (cavolo nero) that my mum had brought me in a pot. It was quite exciting to be using a vegetable from the backyard even if it had been nurtured to maturity by my mum. I think Zinc also approved of it as it gave her an opportunity to slip out the door as it was getting dark when I headed outside to ‘harvest’ my kale for dinner.

I thought this would be a good time to show you a photo of one of the roses in our front garden. One of the advantages of living in a unit is sharing the roses that our neighbour has planted. They have flowered all year despite the drought. So we have the pleasure of being able to stop and smell the roses as we step outside our front door.

I am sending this soup to Andrea’s Recipes for the Grow Your Own Event, which is for bloggers who have used produce from their garden or is gifted to them from a friend or family’s garden.

Potato, bean and kale soup
Serves 3

1 tsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
6-8 small potatoes, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
500g vegetable stock
1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
6-8 kale leaves, chopped
lots of black pepper
parmesan cheese to serve

Fry onions in oil for about 3-5 minutes. Add carrot, potatoes, garlic, beans, stock, herbs and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and simmer about 20-30 minutes or until the soup has thickened and the potatoes are soft. Add the kale and cook another 3-5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and check seasoning. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

On the Stereo:
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony


  1. That looks really delicious Johanna, a good thick stewy soup, yum!

  2. How great to be able to use kale from your backyard! Potato, bean and kale soup sounds so comforting.

  3. I think I will have to make this to make up for my potato and greens soup from last week! Unlike your success, mine wasn't quite what I had imagined in my head! Haha, there's always a few disasters along the way!

  4. Lovely stew...and the most amazing is that you got ingredients from your backyard! Looks yummie...

  5. Ah,the freedom of finding the own recipe is in your own mind - that's my kinda cookin'.

    As for your kale? Wow! And isn't it fabulous to be able to harvest your own veg? I don't think I'll ever get blase about having something, however small, of my own to pick from. Lovely flavours. Reckon you've found yer stick, darls!

  6. It looks delicious! Hehe I wonder if that guy is still single. I wish I had my own garden-sadly it's just some herb planters on the windowsill!

  7. Thanks Jacqueline - it was

    Thanks Ashley - I just have a small pot of kale - would love a good row of it so I could make this soup over and over

    Thanks Kate - I am pleased when my meal turns out as I intend because it doesn't happen every time - hope this soup works for you

    Thanks Juliana - it is amazing to see anything flourishing in my backyard that I can eat!

    Thanks Lucy - I know what you means about not taking it for granted - it is one of life's small pleasures to slip out the back door into the garden as part of the ritual of cooking dinner!

  8. It made me smile to see your kale growing in a pot. I have a load of it growing in my backgarden, and am looking for inspiration to use it up. Its a pretty robust leafy green.

  9. Hi Johanna! Your kale looks like it's flourishing in the pot. The soup looks so comforting, like something I would definitely enjoy in the winter. Thanks for joining us again for Grow Your Own!

  10. Thanks Mangocheeks - it is wonderfully robust - hope this gives you inspiration - had a great salad with kale last night that I hope to share soon

    Thanks Andrea - I never would have thought kale could flourish in a pot - glad to discover otherwise


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