Although you will often find red and green kale in supermarkets, this variety of kale is not so common. It is called by a variety of names including Dinosaur Kale and Tuscan Kale, but I love its Italian name, Cavalo Nero (black kale) . I received this lovely bouquet of the nutritious greens in my CSA share from All We Need Farms in Needville, TX. www.allweneedfarms.com I am enjoying getting acquainted with Stacy Roussel, who owns the farm with her husband Jay. Her smile when she hands me our weekly vegetables makes the good stuff I can make from them even more delicious!
My version of soup made with this kind of kale comes from one by Chef Mario Batali. It is hearty and nutritious, bursting with flavor from the kale and herbs. The addition of a small piece of rind from a wedge of Parmegiano – Reggiano lends a true taste of Italy.
- 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot,sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 links Italian sausage, crumbled and browned, or smoked sauge sliced into small pieces
- 1 bunch Cavolo Nero, chopped coarsely
- 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmegiano – Reggiano, plus 2 inches of rind if you have it
Heat the oil with sausage, onion, leek, carrot, celery, garlic, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add small piece of parmegiano – reggiano rind and cannellini beans Add cabbage and cook until softened , about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmegiano-Reggiano on top. Slices of crusty toasted Ciabbata bread make a nice addition. Some like to put the bread into the bowls and serve the soup on top.