I am lucky enough to have a friend who embraces veggies and throws together meals with them so well I want to recreate their fantastic flavours as soon as I return home. And this Italian Kale Stew came about as a direct result of a wonderful afternoon at her house. And finding some fresh full-stem kale at the local farm shop which I just had to have.
While I have called this a stew, it could also be termed a very full broth, although I think the chew factor always changes something from soup to stew! It’s just perfect for the winter as it is hearty but certainly not stodgy or unhealthy. In fact the high vegetable content, especially the kale which is packed with filling fibre but zero calories and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and a number of minerals many of us are deficient in, is perfect for keeping you feeling in tip-top condition this winter and balancing the approaching Christmas excess. The beans add protein and make it a satisfying meal. And it’s such a cheap dish to make it’s perfect for both saving money and losing the extra Christmas pounds in the New Year.
I like to serve this with fresh bread, to mop up the juices, or a homemade quiche but it’s just as yummy on its own.
Italian Kale Stew
- Splash of oil or water
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 100ml red wine (optional)
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of water
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons mixed dried Italian herbs or dried oregano
- 300g kale, hard stalks removed, sliced
- 400g tins of beans, for example black eyed, flageolet, borlotti, cannellini beans
- Step 1 Place the oil/water, carrot, onion, garlic, celery and kale into a large saucepan and cook with the lid off for 5mins, add a little water if it starts to stick.
- Step 2 Remove the lid and if using add the red wine, cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat then add the tin of tomatoes, herbs, the vegetable stock, tomato puree and kale.
- Step 3 Bring to the boil and simmer for 10mins with the lid on.
- Step 4 Remove the lid and simmer for another 5mins or until all the vegetables are just cooked before adding the drained tins of beans.
- Step 5 Cooks for a few more minutes so the beans are heated right through then season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.