Kale and Chickpea Soup

Kale and chickpea soupI have one of those recipes that I go back to again and again. It’s one of those dishes that makes you feel better after eating it, and it’s chock full of good-for-you ingredients. You know, all that stuff you’re supposed to eat on a regular basis like kale and tomatoes and legumes.

Because it’s a soup, the flavors meld into a savory, sweet, and slightly earthy experience that’s even better the second day. The recipe was given to me by one of our local farmers, and then I changed it up a bit, i.e., I dumped a bunch of wine into the dish. The extra wine gives the soup an amazing tang, and you can use what’s leftover to drink with your meal. I mean — what a win-win! For the leftovers, I’d recommend pairing with a Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity and citrus flavors go really well with my favorite soup.

This recipe is going to be two-fold. The first recipe is the way I’ve been making it for years, and the second is what I did this past week — utilizing a crock pot so a delicious, wholesome soup was ready and waiting when I got back from my afternoon run.

Kale and Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup


serves 8

2 onions or shallots, diced small
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried
3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ t. pepper flakes
4 large tomatoes, fresh
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn small
1 ½ cups dry garbanzo beans, cooked, or two 15 oz. cans of chickpeas
Salt and pepper

If using dry chickpeas, soak overnight. Cook them in at least four cups of water for three hours until soft. Be sure not to put salt in until peas are fully cooked. Cook the onions and thyme in the olive oil over medium until soft. Increase the heat and add the garlic, pepper flakes, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and 1/3 cup wine. Stew for 15 minutes. Add the cooked chickpeas and the 8 cups of liquid. Simmer for 20-30 minutes to let the peas absorb the flavors. Add the kale leaves and cook ten more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Kale and Chickpea Soup

Slow Cooker Kale and Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup


serves 8

2 onions or shallots, diced small
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ t. pepper flakes
4 large tomatoes, fresh
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn small
Two 15 oz. cans of chickpeas
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer all ingredients into a slow cooker except the kale, salt, and pepper. Place onions and garlic on the bottom, followed by the tomatoes, and then the chickpeas. Sprinkle herbs over everything and pour liquids in. Turn the slow cooker on to low, and let it cook eight to nine hours. Put in the kale and continue to cook on the low setting for another 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Scallops in Butter Sauce

scallopsMmmm… scallops — one of those dishes that seems so fancy and actually is incredibly easy. In many ways, we’re still celebrating the Alsace Festival, so I’ve been cooking up ways to enjoy more Anderson Valley wines.

While cooking scallops is incredibly easy, they’re definitely one of those things that you have to keep an eye on. Leave a scallop on the heat for an extra 30 seconds, and your dinner can go from succulent to kind-of tough just like that. *snaps fingers* We paired our dish with Handley Cellars 2011 Estate Chardonnay. The sauce brought out creamy, butter flavors in the wine, and the lemony flavors of the Chard brightened the scallops. It was one of those combos where each made for a greater whole, taking both food and wine to new flavor heights. The 2011 is no longer available, but the next vintage is.

Seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce


serves 2
1 pound scallops
1 lemon
2 TB butter
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
a pinch of Herbes de Provence

Warm up a skillet over high heat. (Make sure to turn your range hood on high, too.)

While the skillet is heating, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small pan with the zest from the lemon, the herbs, and a little salt and pepper. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of the wine you’ll be serving with dinner. Stir together and strain if you want a bit-free sauce. Put aside.

Rinse scallops and pat dry. Pour olive oil on skillet, followed by the butter. The butter should melt right away. Set scallops on skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze the juice from half of the lemon over the top. Cook for one and a half minutes and flip. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the scallops and cook for another one and a half minutes.

Place on plates and drizzle with the butter sauce. Serve right away.

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