As I've discussed, kale is my least favorite food co-op veggie. I never know what to do with it, and it's always disappointing to get it from the food co-op.
I volunteered for a couple hours during distribution recently, and there were actually several people there lamenting the lack of greens this season. While I was in a different co-op last year, and was not among the members who complained about getting too many greens, I had to admit that I shared their sentiment. When I explained that I never knew what to do with all that kale, one woman suggested cooking it in oil with lots of garlic, adding chicken stock, red pepper flakes, cannellini beans and pasta to make a minestrone soup. When she put it like that, it sounded pretty good!
I did pretty much exactly what she told me to. I used kale and beet tops, (which made it turn pink) as my greens, and threw in some carrot rounds as well. Nathan told me that minestrone is supposed to have tomatoes in it, so I tossed in some leftover tomato sauce. Then after it had been simmering for awhile, we tasted it. Nathan was worried that the chicken broth was too bland, so I told him to add some more red pepper flakes. He did NOT stop dumping them in when I said and thus the soup was far too hot, but STILL managed to be a little bland. Not terrible, but not that great. Next time I'll use a legit recipe, or maybe just add some onions. Also, I used canned beans and Nathan convinced me not to rinse off the bean gunk. That was probably a mistake. I think the beans tasted a little funky, especially on the reheat, and I've never had that problem with canned beans that I've rinsed.
spicy minestrone topped with grated romano cheese