Thursday, February 12, 2015

Suffering from kale fatigue? Change it up with chard

I can only eat so much kale. Yes, I know it's good for you for all kinds of reasons, but sometimes it just feels like tedious work. The next time you’re eyeing leafy greens at the farmers market or grocery store, grab a bunch of chard and give this hearty soup a try.

Sausage, Bean and Chard Soup 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, diced
12 ounces smoked chicken sausage, sliced
2 cans Great Northern beans (or white beans of your preference)
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 bunch green chard, ribs removed, sliced into thin ribbons
Salt and pepper, to taste

Warm olive oil over medium heat in Dutch oven or other large pot. Add garlic and onion and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to the pot and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Increase heat and add broth, beans and bay leaf to pot. Bring contents to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf, stir in chard, cover and simmer until chard is soft, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sticking to resolution with superbly smoky soup

This is how Milk Pail Market, one of my favorite Mountain View grocery stores, encouraged visitors to kick off 2015:

That’s a resolution I can get behind every year, and sure enough I recently picked up some fantastic oak-smoked cheddar from these guys. Great on its own, but also quite delightful melted into this soup.

Smoky Cheddar Potato Soup 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced small, ¼ cup reserved
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
48 ounces vegetable broth
2 cups grated smoked cheddar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Warm olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, onions, smoked paprika, cayenne and bell peppers and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Increase heat, add potatoes and broth to pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Using a ladle or glass measuring cup, scoop three cups of soup into blender. Puree soup and stir back into the pot. Remove soup from heat and stir in cheese until it’s melted into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of red bell pepper.