Monday, February 1, 2010

Deep Winter Minestra

Elle Bee in the Kitchen With Kids.  That's the title of this whole bit of nonsense, isn't it?  Well.  Elle's back.  In the kitchen.  With kids.  Yeah baby.  Yeah.

(I've always wanted to refer to myself in the third person.  And now that I've tried it, I really like it.  It makes me feel valuable and far-reaching). 

(ahem)  So...Elle had mushrooms and Elle had kale.  And Elle wanted to impress her darling little family with something delicious for dinner.  And it was shortly after that, that Elle decided third-personage was really rather annoying and who is she kidding, valuable and far-reaching? 

(ahem)  Like I was saying.  Mushrooms and kale.  Enter Rachel Ray and a recipe to knock your culinary socks off.  It's called Deep Winter Minestra (or Beans and Greens Soup). 

I started with some bacon. 

I'm not a vegetarian...yet.  (Well, I probably never will be.  We're just moving away from meat-based meals, but I doubt we'll ever remove them completely).  But if I were a vegetarian, I imagine bacon would be my worst enemy. 

Due in a large part to the olfactory heaven it creates upon cooking it.  Your nose talks to your mouth and says "eat that.  eat that now."  and the mouth can not argue.

But back to being a vegetarian.  Or not.  But trying to decrease the amount of meat one eats.  Mushrooms, I would think, might be a vegetarian's best friend.  Because they're meaty-like. 

While I was reconstituting these, the most delicious, beefy smell was wafting around the kitchen.  It was incredible!  It smelled like I was searing a steak.  The mushrooms went in the pot and joined the bacon party that was now in full swing. 

Then I used the mushroom water as part of the broth that's called for in the recipe.  It is so flavorful.  I was just careful not to use any of the grit that had settled at the bottom. 

Then I sliced some onions and kale.  Isn't that kale the most beautiful dark green? 
(Yes, that is our beloved and well-used copy of Go, Dog. Go!  from my friend Heather on my kitchen counter.  It's like a permanent fixture in our household).    

Uh oh.  The outlaws are awake.  And the nap seems to have rendered them particulary ornery.  Don't be fooled by this angel-face-momma-I'm-just-quietly-reading-a-book charade.  I turn my back to him for an instant and he's teleported himself across the room at a speed that can only be described using quantum physics.  Seriously, even Stephen Hawking can not explain this phenomenon. 

See?  How did he get all the way over here and illegally acquire a coffee mug already? 

No, no Bexy! 
Oh, well, would you look at this? 
He passed it off to his poor bed-head of a sister and took off at lightning speed.  Like the Roadrunner.  See that little puff of smoke?

Where is that 3 year old sherrif when I need her?  Oh yeah, I forgot.  She traded in her badge for a tutu.  Or a chef's hat.  Or glass slippers.  I can't remember, it changes day to day.

Bug is stirring the onions into the pot, along with some pressed garlic.

The smells of cooking bacon, garlic, mushrooms and onions started driving everyone mad!  They all wanted to eat!  And eat NOW!

But I kept my cool.  And solemnly added the gorgeous kale.

And some cannellini beans.

Bug attempted to add the nutmeg. 

But most of it ended up on the stove top. 

That's okay Bug.  It's not like the kitchen was clean anyway...

Hoh boy...

Anyway, the minestra's ready.  Bex, time to eat.

Wait.  Where are you going?  At lightning speed?
Come back my little roadrunner.  Sohie?
Well, I think Bug's hungry.  Let's get a minestra verdict.

It's a good one folks!

PS. "You're almost there...stop at that tree....climb that ladder tooooo.....A DOG PARTY!!!!"


Dana said...

That looks delish! I could almost smell the mushrooms and bacon cooking! I will have to give it a try!

Unknown said...

Yeah baby, back in the kitchen! Woohoo, this looks yummy!

Do you like my hat?
No I do not.
Good bye.
Good bye.

My favourite book ever...can you tell?!


Dandy said...

OMG they are getting so big!

Please tell me what stove guard thing is. Is it a nutmeg catcher?

I love bugs oh-my-this-is-so-delicious-i-must-close-my-eyes face.

CottageGirl said...

Great post! Those babies are getting so big! I hate to admit it ... I've NEVER had Kale! But this looks so good ... especially after seeing Bug's expression!!!

McVal said...

I was wondering if your little bugs were going to eat it! Mine would look at it and ask if they could just sit on the steps now...
I think it looks very good!
Ham bone and beans in the crockpot all day today. The smell is driving me mad as I work!

Buckeroomama said...

When did your twins get so big?! I was wondering if you had a nephew or a neighbor's kid visiting when I first saw your boy with the book in his hand! No kidding.

(I think we have the identical libraries! The Go Dogs Go, Goodnight Moon, and the alphabet book in his hand? We have all those, too!)

WhiteStone said...

If any dish can get kids to eat kale, this one should do it. We will definitely have to try this dish as we like kale!

Catherine Anne said...

This looks great!!!!

Christina said...

It does look good, although I just don't know if I can do mushrooms. It's a texture thing.
Your kitchen is awesome. Can I have your island?
Never mind. I would have to put it in our dining room, since it won't fit in our kitchen. And then I'd have to move our dining room table, and where would we put it? In the living room?! I'll just keep dreaming.

Unknown said...

That soup looks delish! Love kale, love mushrooms, love beans...right up my alley!

I just watched Food Inc. last week and even though I knew most of what was in it, it kicked me off the fence about becoming vegetarian, or really a flexitarian as I do plan to buy locally and humanely raised beef and chicken to use on an occasional basis. I already have my own eggs and we raise a garden every summer, so I'm halfway there. And I love!

I was already making a lot of vegetarian meals anyway, so it isn't that big of a jump for us. I'm feeling much better and have even cut back on the junk food snacking. We had lentil soup last night and it was delicious!

The kids, as always, are just too adorably cute! It's amazing how much the twins have changed in the short time I've been visiting you!

Meghan said...

Aahh! I love your kids... and Sophie's hair!!!! The soup looks amazing too!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Ah yes, greens and bacon = winning combination in my book! Thanks for another great recipe. Your helpers are super adorable. -Tammy

Unknown said...

Dear Elle.
When AJ went vegetarian last fall, she also hated bacon. She made it for her family and ate beans, and mushrooms.

It made her bitter.

I love bacon.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

That whole post was too funny! And you passed along a yummy recipe. It's kinda like two for one.

PS, I could give up "meat" but not way! :)

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

I just love the way you write, Elle! I felt like I was experiencing everything you were...and I love your energetic household!

Yummy recipe too! And although I'm not a big meat eater really....I LOVE my bacon!

Have a great day! :)

teamkyte said...

Looks delish!!! Is this from your beloved box of goodies???? I am so excited to get my present tomorrow I can barely stand it!

Muthering Heights said...

That soup looks wonderful...perfect for the dog party! :)

Jackie said...

This looks so good! I love kale so I'm going to have to try this one! We love Go Dog Go at our house. Kyler cracks up everytime I read the line..."I do NOT like your hat". Oh, I use kale in a potato sausage quiche and it's yummy.

Have a great day.

Down On The Farm said...

I'm sorry, but you lost me at mushrooms :0!!! Can't stand 'em. But, everything else looked DELICIOUS! Your kids are darling!

Marisa said...

Yea...a recipe for and easy yet delicious soup using Kale...I'll have to give it a try...
Beautiful kitchen...wish I had your work area.

monica said...

You did a great job on this...very funny! The food looks delishious also!! Love the pictures of the kids!

Yelena R. said...

That soup looks delicious...and doesn't bacon make everything better? I don't think I could be a vegetarian...