This whole bowl only weighs 2 ounces!
This whole bowl only weighs 2 ounces!

So Beadie is this weeks hostess of the BSI secret ingredient.   I am sure there are millions of people who like kale, I happen to be one that doesn’t.  But that didn’t stop me from trying!  I had beans to cook up so I decided to do: 

Bean Soup with Winter Vegetables

  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 pound dried beans (any kind)
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, whole
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces kale (I took the stems out – didn’t know if they would be too bitter?), chopped
  • 4 ounces escarole, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 small potatoes diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (I pureed mine – no chunks please!)
  • water

In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until slightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add 12  cups of water, beans, whole garlic, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cover pot partially and reduce heat to low ,and simmer, stirring occassionally, until beans are almost tender, about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Remove the beans from the heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Remove beans to a cookie sheet, reserving liquid and discard the pancetta and garlic. 

While beans are cooling, heat oil in pot and add carrots and stir until softened, about 7 minutes.  Stir in minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add enough water to reserved liquid to equal 9 cups.  Add kale and escarole.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add potatoes and tomatoes, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Lastly, add beans and simmer until soup is heated through. 

I brought this to work and put it in the crockpot around 10:00 to heat up slowly.

the beans gave the broth a distinctly "dirty dish washing" look!
the beans gave the broth a distinctly "dirty dish washing" look!

The verdict?  First of all, I can’t detect the flavor of the pancetta, which is a shame!   I did have to add Tabasco for an extra kick (of course!) and while I liked the flavor of the broth, I did not like the beans or the vegetables.   Well, I do have to admit that the beans need to cook a bit more, so I am going to do a second taste test this afternoon and see what my co-workers think.

So while this didn’t work out for me – I still decided to post it in case someone enjoys all those ingredients together – especially the kale!

See you later!