Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Best (and Healthiest) Stew Ever!

I like making one big meal on a week night and having a few days worth of leftovers to bring in for lunch. Besides chili, I didn't have much in my repertoire that met this criterion. Enter the Best and Healthiest Stew Ever.

Last summer when we were part of the farm share, we got a ton of kale at the beginning of the summer, so after I confirmed with my gardener sister that the leafy substance was indeed kale, I got to work exploring kale recipes. There are several variations of a kale, white bean and sausage tuscan soup online. I started with this one. But, well, all that sausage made for a pretty greasy soup.

I substituted ground turkey for the sausage. Now that makes it way less greasy, but also significantly less tasty, and that would never do. A little more googling on spices that go into various sausages, and I settled on adding fennel seeds, rosemary, cumin and ground sage along with fresh garlic to recreate some of the flavor. I also found that getting "italian" ground turkey (i.e., turkey with red pepper flake and oregano ground into it) helped make up for the lack of sausage and reduced the need for a bouillon cube.

The other thing that seemed absolutely necessary was the Parmesan rind. Apparently, you can buy a whole tub of rinds at the grocery store (though you have to freeze them right away otherwise they mold). The rind just seems to make the whole thing a bunch richer.

Here's the new recipe:
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1lb Italian ground turkey
Ground sage, fennel seeds, rosemary, cumin (I measured these out the first time, but now I just guess)
1 can of cannellini beans
1 can of water (from the beans)
2 pieces of parmesan rind
1 C of chopped carrots
1 bunch of kale, chopped

Sautee onion and garlic til translucent over medium heat, add turkey and spices, brown until turkey is cooked through. Add cannellini beans and an additional can of water. Add parmesan rind. Toss in carrots. Let stew for 20 minutes. Add in kale, stew another 10 to 20 minutes. Remove rind. Enjoy with a little fresh grated parmesan.


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