Tag Archives: kale

Kale, Lentil, and Bacon Soup

25 Jan
Kale Lentil and Bacon Soup

Kale Lentil and Bacon Soup

Did I ever mention I love soup? Oh, yes, probably a hundred times by now. I am an avid reader of the Food52 website, and when I saw this soup offered up to test for one of their recipe contests, I immediately signed up to be a tester. Kale, lentils, and bacon? What’s not to love?

Paired with my super-yummy golden homemade chicken broth and a nice big splash of dry sherry makes this such an easy, but VERY tasty and filling soup. Don’t forget some thick slices of crusty bread to sop up every last bit of tastiness in your bowl.

I slightly adapted this by baking the bacon, and then using some of the clear, rendered bacon grease in lieu of olive oil for added flavor. And make sure you use the Puy (French Green) lentils, as they hold up well in a soup and don’t get mushy at all. I found these in the bulk section at Whole Foods Market.

Kale, Lentil, and Bacon Soup
Adapted from Anna May’s Recipe for Kale, Lentil and Bacon Soup @ Food52.com website

4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon rendered bacon grease
3/4 cup chopped
onion
1 large splash dry sherry
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 bunch Lacinato
kale, woody stems removed and chopped
1
sprig of thyme, leaves picked
3/4 cup Puy (French Green) lentils

Baked Bacon

Baked Bacon

Bake the bacon on a rack in a 400-degree preheated oven for 25 or so minutes until done. (I cooked the entire package and saved the rest for breakfast the next day.) Add 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon grease to a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Rendered Bacon Grease

Rendered Bacon Grease

Saute the onions for several minutes until translucent. Break up the bacon and add it and the lentils to the pot, then pour in a nice glug of the dry sherry.

Cooking the Lentils and Onions

Cooking the Lentils and Onions

Let it sizzle briefly then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring up to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the lentils are done, about 40 minutes.

Wilting the Kale

Wilting the Kale

Stir in the kale and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the kale is wilted and tender. Serve in bowls with crusty bread.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Fuss-Free Spicy Pork and Kale in a Crock Pot

5 Jan
Spicy Pork and Kale

Spicy Pork and Kale

I had a few pieces of frozen pork that had to be used stat, as they were starting to look slightly freezer-burnt around the edges. Then I had this HUGE bunch of organic kale I picked up the other day, for reasons still unknown to me this day. I must have had something in mind, but it never came back to me. Armed with those two ingredients, I thought about making my Spicy Pork and Kale Soup, but decided I needed to try out something new. After countless interwebz searches, I finally settled on a combination of flavors I thought would work together.

Kale Bunch

Kale Bunch

About halfway through the cooking time my daughter said the kitchen smelled really good, so I was hopeful! And thankfully, it turned out delicious! It was spicy, tangy, filling, and made for a great meal for the fam after we spent a good part of the day cleaning out our junk room to make into a bedroom for a foreign exchange student we are hosting in February. (As well as painting my daughter’s bedroom a new color, which I had no part in. That was a father-daughter project for the day.) We served this over a bed of brown rice sided with thick slices of French Bread to sop up the juices. Yummy!

Spicy Pork and Kale Ready to Cook

Spicy Pork and Kale Ready to Cook

Spicy Pork and Kale in a Crock Pot

1 1/2 pounds thick boneless pork loin chops
Sweet Hungarian paprika
Ground black pepper
1 large bunch of kale
2 pints homemade canned tomatoes and liquid, chopped, or two cans of diced low-sodium tomatoes, with liquid
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Cooked brown or white rice, for serving

Season the pork generously with paprika and black pepper. Add to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Tear the kale off the stems into bite-size pieces and add to the crock pot. It fills up almost the entire crock pot, but don’t worry, it all cooks down. For my homemade pints of tomatoes, I just used a knife to chop them up straight in the jar. Pour the chopped or canned diced tomatoes over all, then sprinkle the Balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes over the kale.

Cook on high 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. When ready to serve, shred the pork with two forks in the crock pot and give it a good stir. Serve over cooked brown or white rice, with bread for sopping up the juices. Minimal ingredients, fuss-free, huge taste!

Spicy Pork and Kale

Spicy Pork and Kale

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

21 Dec
Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

I had made a small promise to myself earlier this year that I was going to cook something with kale. In all my years of cooking, this is one vegetable that I just never got around to using. Of course, now that I’ve made this absolutely delicious soup with it, I’ll have to rotate it into our diets. It’s chock full of vitamins and calcium and a chemical with anti-cancer properties. YES! More Kale! I have adapted this soup I found from Eating Well magazine by kicking it up a notch and using Hungarian Paprika and Ancho Chile Powder in place of the smoked paprika, among other modifications. The entire family really enjoyed it and trust me, their is no lack of flavor in this hearty soup. We sopped it up with big thick slices of French bread, which you’ll want to pair this with to get every last yummy drop in your bowl.

Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless pork  loin or chops, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
Mrs. Dash Table Blend
Ground Black Pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 cup red wine
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
4 to 5 cups chicken or turkey broth, homemade or low sodium
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped
1 can white bean

Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

This is one of those recipes where you’ll want to chop everything up in advance. Once all the chopping is done, the preparation is quite simple.  Start out by heating the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot on medium high. Generously season the pork with the Mrs. Dash and black pepper, then add to the pot. Brown the pork on all sides, then remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pot, and cook for about five minutes until starting to soften. Then add the minced garlic, Hungarian paprika and ancho chile powder. If you don’t have those two ingredients, you can substitute with regular or smoked paprika and add some crushed red pepper to taste to make it spicy. Stir for about a minute longer, then add the red wine and chopped tomatoes, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Now add the broth, then bring to a boil. Add the kale (it looks like a lot, but it all wilts down just like spinach) until it’s mixed in, then turn down the heat to a low simmer. Add the pork back in and the white beans (I used cannellini) and continue simmering until ready to eat. You could probably eat it right away but I wanted the flavors to meld so let it simmer before about an hour before eating. Serve with thick slabs of crusty French bread. Mmmmmm!

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