Leftover ham, kale, and the cold weather we’ve been having here in Minneapolis inspired this soup.  With both kale and brussels sprouts, it not only warms you up but also gives you plenty of the vitamins that are needed around this time of year.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • butter or oil
  • 5 pieces of thick bacon cut into strips or the equivalent of cooked ham (I’ve used both)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 good-sized garlic clove, minced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 whole bunch of kale, stems removed, cut into thin strips
  • 12 or so brussels sprouts, larger ones cut in half
  • 4 or more cups water
  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can black-eyed peas or white beans, rinsed
  • salt
  • optional variations: diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, white pepper, bouquet garni

Cook the pieces of bacon in a large pot. If you are using cooked ham simply brown it lightly in a little butter or oil. While you’re cooking the meat, heat a little butter in a skillet on medium heat.  Place the brussels sprouts in it until they start to brown; set aside. Add the garlic and onion and sweat (use a low enough heat that it cooks but doesn’t turn brown). Next add the carrot. Once this has started to get tender, add the kale and brussels sprouts. Stir so that the kale is exposed to the heat and wilts.  Now add water and bring up to a slow simmer. For more flavor, top it off with some stock until it seems like there is a good liquid/solid ratio.  When this has simmered for a bit (enough for the flavors to meld), salt to taste, add the beans, and simmer for 10 more minutes.  Remove from heat.


Kale and Bean Winter Soup on Foodista