Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Rocket & Roses Hearty Cavolo Nero, New Potato, Borlotti and Herb Soup

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Josh Todd ~ You Made Me Album

Comfort on the cold days of autumn and winter is a must in this house. And comfort doesn't have to mean stodge and meals laden with calories. My own personal comfort food is a hot steamy bowl of wholemeal spaghetti with a freshly made garlicky tomato sauce. But I also love a meal in a bowl soup, heaped with healthy vegetables and a good flavoured stock. 

On a recent supermarket visit I picked up a large bag of Cavolo Nero...and I was so excited because up until this season you could only buy tiny bags of the black kale for a ridiculous price. But this bag had 24 stalks for a bargain price of £1! I checked all over the bag and the shelves to make sure this was the real And when I was convinced I stashed it in my trolley. I love regular green kale but the first time I tried Cavolo Nero I was addicted. For me it's a little less bitter than regular kale can sometimes be. I even enjoy the prep for this comes in thin leaves so you have to strip the stalk out and once I get started I Zen out But I could see why some people would find this annoying. I say put the music on loud and get stripping! 

I enjoy a good herby soup so I wanted to concentrate on making this soup simple in flavour. I wanted the veggies I had selected to be tasted and not just end up part of the combined soup. I wanted gentle flavours and great textures. 

I was really happy with the results as the potatoes, Nero, borlotti and onions give great textures. The stock that is slightly thickened using beans and tomato paste worked better than I'd hoped and the herbs were wholesome and..yes..comforting. As a whole dish it is soothing, warming and aromatic and the vegetables are succulent. In one word...Yum! 

Rocket & Roses Hearty Cavolo Nero, New Potato, Borlotti and Herb Soup

Hearty Cavolo Nero, New Potato, Borlotti and Herb Soup   Serves 6-8
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tsp Rotina Healthier Cooking Oil
2 large onions, sliced 
4 garlic cloves, minced
10 new potatoes, skins left on, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
23 stalks of Cavolo Nero, stalks stripped, rinsed well, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 litres of low sodium vegetable stock
2 tins of Borlotti Beans, rinsed and drained, separately  
1/2 tsp heaped dried Oregano
1/2 tsp level dried Thyme 
1 tbsp tomato paste 
1/2 litre water 
low sodium salt to taste (I didn't feel it needed any)
freshly cracked black pepper to taste 

In a large soup pot heat the oil and quickly saute the onions to get them coated and then add in the garlic. Saute for a further 2 mins with the pot covered. Give the onions a good stir and then add in a small amount of water to prevent sticking, cover, stirring frequently until the onions are soft. 

In a large jug place one tin of drained beans, 1/2 litre water and the tomato paste and blend with a hand held blender until smooth. Set to one side. 

Add the potatoes to the pot and stir well to combine with the onion/garlic mixture. Add the herbs and stir well and leave to cook for 2 minutes for the herbs to infuse the mix. Then add in the stock and the bean/tomato mix. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are just beginning to go tender. 

Add the whole Borlotti beans to the pan and then scatter the Cavolo Nero on top of the soup and allow it to wilt slightly into the soup. Then stir well and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Serve...with a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your Wednesday is a peaceful one...