Cannellini Bean Stew with Kale

As I’ve been having quite a blast recently with baking I’m back to what I feel I do best; gravies, sauces and stews. Even though it’s summer. At night I seem to stuff my face with mostly salad stuff. During the day is a different matter as it’s cold first thing. Even my clothes are damp to put on. It’s summer outside but it ain’t flip-flop weather until well into late afternoon here by the coast. Because of that there’s nothing nicer than tucking in to a portion of delicious Cannellini Bean Stew with Kale for a late lunch. And this was so good. Full of flavour and loaded with nutrients. Okay, so a lot of people don’t seem to care for kale. I love the stuff.

Cannellini Bean Stew with Kale, pancetta, potatoes and flat leaf parsley

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g (3.52 oz) x pancetta
  • 100g x (3.52 oz) kale (if already chopped then do pick through the kale discarding think stems and any leaves that are blemished)
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 x dried bay leaves, split
  • 3 – 4 x organic garlic cloves, root end cut off and discarded, cloves kept whole
  • 2 x carrots, peeled, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 – 3 x celery stalks/ribs, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 x parsley stems
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 400ml (0.84 US pt lqd) x cold water
  • 1/2 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • up to 400g (14.11 oz) x potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and chopped into smallish cubes
  • flat leaf parsley, finely chopped to serve
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Put a heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6) and add the already chopped pancetta without oil. Stir through occasionally and when turning nicely golden remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the prepared kale to the same saucepan as the pancetta has been cooked in, adding a little oil if necessary. Clamp on a lid and leave for about 5 minutes or so. Stir through and replace the lid. Continue to cook, reducing heat if necessary, until the kale has reduce to about a quarter of its original bulk. Take off lid and let any steam dry off, being careful that the kale doesn’t scorch or turn crisp. When ready remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In the meantime put a heavy-based saucepan on heat No 3. When hot pour in a little oil and the onions. Add a lid and leave for about 10 minutes, checking after 5. After about 15 minutes take off lid and continue to cook until the onions start to take on a pale golden colour. Reduce heat to No 2, stir through often and pour in more oil if necessary. When nicely golden take off heat and set aside.
  • Put a large saucepan on heat No 4 with the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, parsley stems, cayenne pepper, water and half a stock cube. Bring to a boil, with a lid, and then reduce to heat No 2. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Then remove the carrots, celery, and bay leaves and set aside. When cool enough to do so blend the onions with the stock until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and add the potatoes. Put back on heat No 3 then reduce to No 2 and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Add the kale and pancetta, heating the pancetta in the same pan as before, making sure everything is nicely hot before serving with lots of freshly chopped or snipped flat leaf parsley.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


41 comments

  1. I’m glad you’re staying with WordPress and i believe we all love your photographs. Plus I, for one, am happy to know about the details like that you were shaving. And kale, I love kale. Who doesn’t like kale? Seriously.

    Like

    • Seriously, I’ve read on here that there are lots of people who don’t like kale (not that I readily believe everything I read). I’m lucky in that I seem to devour all of the dark cruciferous (I really hate spellcheck – there it goes again! – on here) veg, with abandon.
      – And, thanks. No other option.

      Like

  2. I’ve heard that some people pay for a professional flickr account and can upload huge sized images and link to their blog. Maybe less time begging at the train station if you wanted to go that route…?

    I also love kale. And beetroot stems and leaves (I would buy beetroot just for the greens). Must be all those stir fried Chinese greens as a child – you really learn to love that kind of stuff or else!

    Like

    • Actually, now you don’t even need to pay for an unlimited (as in uploads) account on Flickr. Yes, actual file sizes, including RAW, can be uploaded and stored. Amazing way to go. With my connection I think I’ll keep resizing mine 🙂
      – I’m with you re beetroot leaves. Unfortunately, beets are only sold here without the leaves! What meanies. Obviously the leaves are used within bags of Ready To Eat salad. Darn them! I would actually buy them more often for both leaves and beets.
      – Strange that kale was never eaten when I was growing up. However, I’ve always loved dark green Brassicas. And mustn’t overlook them just ‘cos it’s summer.

      Like

      • A summer kale recipe I will try (when it’s summer here) is kale leaves rubbed or mixed with grapefruit or lemon juice, so it’s still crunchy but lightly cured. Maybe mixed with some kind of summer fruit.

        Enjoy your warm afternoons! I am travelling to the Hebrides in Scotland in a few weeks, hopefully summer has arrived there too..

        Like

        • I’ve just cooked the last of the kale so I can’t even test out how it must be raw. Can’t imagine it! I’m not that great with raw veg, excepting the odd root vegetable. Although I like the idea of using grapefruit, especially with legumes and other veg for dips. Will have to work on those.
          – I’m sure summer will have arrived in the Hebrides already. Here it’s almost bliss by late afternoon. Enjoy your trip. It’s a place I’ve yet to visit.

          Like

  3. Glad to hear you’re staying with WP. Like the sound and look of this stew, but…ahem… I’m one of those people you mentioned to A Taste Of Wintergreen – I don’t like kale, have never even seen it here, and it doesn’t look like I want to try it. So I’d go for your stew without the kale 🙂

    Like

      • Yes, as in Appearance, Theme Options and Full Width (No Sidebars). Have been meaning to do that for months now, especially as I’ve been taking photos in landscape more often. Shame all of my stuff, and there’s loads of it, below comments had to be squished within one column. For some reason all of it went into two columns, both very squashed to the very left of post. As for my contact Page – like my banner (that’s supposed to be reflective of the seasons) I really must sort that out! Today!

        Like

    • Thank you. Now I’m beginning to appreciate the dashboard on here. And the community. Which I wouldn’t have lost touch with necessarily as I would’ve kept up with email. Hmm…had fun last night stopping email coming through from, shh, certain blogs. Shouldn’t really admit to that.
      – Not even if the kale is pan-fried in pancetta fat? The other way, that helps to diminish the strength of its taste, is to blanch the kale. Which I did last night with the other half of the bag for a chickpea, salmon and egg soup I’m making tonight. It really is delicious stuff.

      Like

    • Apparently so. I’ve never had this sort of thing whilst in Italy. Although, as Tuscany goes I’ve only ever been to Florence for a weekend as I’ve stayed longer in other northern cities. Would so love to discover more of Tuscany!

      Like

  4. If you ever write a book…I’ll read it cover to cover. Seriously. I could sit and read your blog posts all day Johnny. 🙂 I even read your comments! haha! Anyway, can not think of any stew more satisfying than this. First of all…pancetta and cannellini. Then potatoes and kale. A masterpiece.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your comment. You know, I suspect you might be the only person to have commented re writing. I used to write loads, far more than I do these days. Mostly stream of consciousness. My favourite feedback from friends who read some of that stuff was: didn’t want that to end, and can you turn this into a novel? Well, that was the whole point of writing a short story.
      – Isn’t this a classic combination. Leftovers tasted great today. So nice not to have to fuss around my tiny kitchen getting lunch prepped and cooked. And I’m using up the rest of the kale, already blanched, for a soup with chickpeas and salmon, egg and rice for sups. And tomorrows lunch 🙂

      Like

  5. Oh my goodness, your technological problems… stay with WP!!! If you dont, please announce it loudly so I know where you’d be off too. This dish looks lovely. Seriously how can anyone (plus you) not like your photos? Impossible.

    Like

    • You’re so nice. Yes, always problems with uploading photos. Should be used to it by now.
      – Like you I don’t consider myself a geek. Whew, I was very surprised when I checked out the dashboard for Tumblr. It was so simplistic I couldn’t cope with it! Maybe I’m more of a geek than I realised. WP’s dashboard is so much better than others I’ve looked at.
      – One day I may be happy with a photo. Right now I’m always seeing, and questioning, how I can improve – hopefully. It’s my way of learning.
      – Anyway, I’m off to grill some more home-made banana bread, then smother those slices in rhubarb compote – who knew those two flavours would go well together 🙂

      Like

      • when I began I tried Blogger and a few others I cant remember, I couldnt get past making even a first post (nor anything else). WP is definitely the easiest for me..
        I’m sure the flavours will go well 🙂

        Like

  6. Why are you having trouble uploading pictures? I’m a complete novice to blogging, but I found WP very user friendly. I take my pix on my iPad, write my post and upload directly. When I write from my laptop, I need to transfer my pix to the laptop, so I find this easier.
    By the way, I love your pictures 🙂
    R

    Like

    • Suddenly it feels like I’m the only person experiencing continual problems with WP. The grey bar doesn’t even work properly for me right now. The comment tab keeps showing orange, even if I’ve gone through new comments and stuff. As for uploading, ever since WP changed its Media upload feature I can easily spend several hours per week just trying to upload photos. It’s turned into an absolute farce. And don’t even start me on text disappearing – that can happen by simply clicking from Visual to Text!

      Like

      • Do you use an iPad? I can take you through the steps, if so….not that I’m any expert. But I’ve floundered my way through and learned to post from my iPad. Love the ease and the speed…now if only it could take my thoughts and words and write them for me 😀

        Like

        • Thank you for offering to take me through the steps, as it were. No, I’m a PC laptop user. It’s not the process of using WP I have issues with. I used to design web sites 10 years ago, although I was never able to read Javascript. So it’s not even the behind the scenes stuff I have issues with. Right now I get the impression that as there are so many Mac users several of the big sites are targeting them. Pinterest has only very recently started to work properly on PC using Goggle Chrome (before it would only download fully on IE, which I don’t like to use). At last! As I really enjoyed going through some stuff last night.
          – The Net is so large and relatively complicated right now with so many transitions going on that it’s inevitable there are going to be problems. There always have been. I do find it all (or at least some of it) fascinating!

          Like

  7. Spent a good minute or two chuckling at “Got the train fare, NEED BOTOX.” laughing again writing this down … and oh yes, i am Krazy for Kale

    Like

    • Thank you, and likewise! Yes, regardless of summery weather I can’t quite get enough of my stews. Especially during the day. Lots of lighter salad-y stuff and differing fruit with yoghurt at night. Plus lots of banana cake and things of that nature! I’ll keep quiet about those 🙂

      Like

  8. I am so behind, look what a missed. Love this stew and your photo is gorgeous as always. Wish it weren’t so hot and sticky here in NYC, first hint of cooler weather this will be on the stove.

    Like

    • It never ceases to amaze me that people don’t cook stews when it’s hot. I love ’em regardless. Including soups. As long as I’m in shade and there’s a window open I’m happy slurping my way through them. Okay, for sups I do eat a lot of salads and stuff, although I’ve just polished off the leftovers of the soup I’ve just posted about. That and lots of a new dessert I’ve just made. Hmm, let’s keep that quiet!

      Like

  9. Good looking soup, good look photos. Have you investigated 500px.com? Also, you might consider staying with WP, but getting a premium theme, like the one we just upgraded to. As a matter of course I’d hesitate to upload RAW files to flickr, or any other ordinary popular venue without being very reassured that my photos wouldn’t be lifted and used. I rather pay a professional site for online storage that I can control. Ken

    Like

    • Thank you, and for the info. I’ve never heard of 500px, so shall check them out. You’re right about Flickr and photos getting lifted as most of my travel photos are used extensively without permission. As far as I’m aware Flickr is like on here where individual photos can be made private. I’m not likely to use it for storage with my connection!
      – At the moment I’m definitely sticking with WP, partly as the new build seems more stable on my system. At least text has yet to change font nor disappear. Any improvement for me, when I’m using a PC, is a bonus.

      Like


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