It's not that dark green, perky, plastic looking stuff you get from the grocery store, but HEY this kale has lived through several snow and ice storms. Here in Southeastern Massachusetts our snow usually doesn't stay long. We very commonly have rain in the winter -- the raw cold kind. So, although it's looking a little dilapidated, our kale is still holding it's own in our garden. Next year I'm going to plant a whole row of fall kale to last for as long as it will, through the winter. It really doesn't do a lot of growing, it just stays green -- and edible! How do we eat it, you ask?
- Drizzle olive oil all over the bottom of a large pot, medium low heat.
- Throw in 3-4 sliced onions and 4+ cloves of chopped garlic.
- Add 1 T salt (for large soup pot) and several shakes of red pepper flakes and/or Portuguese Red Pepper Sauce "Pimento de Malaguera Moida" about 1 T.
- Cook until translucent -- try not to brown.
- Add in a chicken breast (with bone), a pork chop (with bone), a ham hock, or some other type of broth that you have on hand like chicken (I wouldn't use beef broth from the store, too strong a flavor) -- if you have it. Otherwise just plain water will do.
- Fill up the pan with water -- but not so high that it bubbles over and splashes on your stove. Bring to a boil, then lower to a nice rolling boil. Cook until the meat is half way done, then . . .
- Add in about 4 peeled potatoes -- cut them in half if you want them to cook faster.
- When the meat is cooked - maybe 45 minutes?, pull the bones and meat out (they should pretty much be all in one piece). Discard the bones and reserve the meat, cutting it into small bite sized pieces.
- With a hand held blender (or transfer to blender) puree all of the potatoes, onions and garlic into a creamy looking broth.
- Don't forget the Portuguese Chourico pronounced "sure-eese" - of course I like the spicy variety. Chop into bite sized pieces. Add this at some point with the following ingredients. It's already cooked, but gives the broth and veggies a nice rich spicy flavor.
- Then, add in the remaining ingredients in order of slowest to cook - to - fastest to cook -- all pleasantly bite sized :) -- 2-3 carrots, 1-2 potatoes, about 4 large leaves of kale (spine and stem removed) chopped thinly, about a cup or so of macaroni elbows or break of spaghetti into 1" long pieces into the pot, and throw in your reserved meat.
- Taste, add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- That's it! Eat with crusty bread. Yumola.