The flu shot is a fickle thing, isn’t it? Some people never get them, decide to have one finally, and then have the sickest year they have ever faced. Other’s swear by the flu shot and breeze through the fall/winter season barely sneezing.
I really do think it’s a roll of the dice. With precious little B being under 6 months we were all strongly suggested to get them this year. A mom and dad of a newborn will do just about anything so before we flew off to FL we made sure to make that happen and have been (knock on wood) pretty healthy ever since.
Others have not been so fortunate. We’ve had dear friends and family in the ER, other’s down for days with exhaustion, and other’s facing the quite unfortunate stomach bug. I’m so sorry, to all of you, and I hope you feel better oh so soon.
Since the flu shot is such a gamble I highly suggest bulking up the immune system in other ways. It can’t hurt, right? I have been eating a honey bell orange daily for weeks now. It’s incredibly delicious and I can’t help feel a slightly heightened sense of protection when I’m eating one. And hey, the vitamin C in them is 100% guaranteed!
Then I stumbled upon this recipe. Not only did it fulfill all my Sunday cooking requirements (i.e. almost painfully slow + cozy) but it had NINE vegetables. Count them, NINE! One of which is the super hip ingredient kale. If you haven’t heard about kale at this point then I’m sorry, I can’t help you.
This recipe is not pretty. My kitchen was messy. I was messy. My floor was messy. Yet all of that somehow faded away Sunday evening as we enjoyed it by the fire. If you want good, authentic, soup then this is the recipe for you.
- 8 ounces dried cannelloni beans
- 1 slice prosciutto or pancetta (vegetarians omit)
- 1 large red onion, minced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, chopped
- 1 1/2 bunches kale, cleaned and chopped into small pieces
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small squares
- 1 cup canned tomatoes, drained and seeded
- 1 small bunch swiss chard, stems removed and cut into small pieces
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- fresh parmesan, this is good soup, get the best you can afford
- additional (good) olive oil, for drizzling
- Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water. In the am, drain the beans and cook them in a large pot with 2 quarts of highly salted water and the prosciutto or pancetta. As the beans absorb water, keep adding enough hot water to maintain about 2 quarts. Cook for one hour, then let sit on stovetop in the pot.
- Saute onion, celery, garlic, carrot, parsley, salt & pepper in the olive oil in a Dutch Oven or large stockpot for about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the cabbage, kale, and potato to the stockpot. Then add tomatoes, squishing them with your hands as you drop them in the pot. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, adding a little bean liquid every now and then if it's looking dry. You're basically stemming the vegetables at this point. After the 15 minutes, add the swiss chard.
- Scoop out 1 cup of beans and set aside. With a handheld mixer (a blender will work here just fine) blend the remaining beans and then pour the bean puree into the stockpot with vegetables, stirring to combine. Simmer together for 15 minutes more until heated through When you are reading to serve, add the reserved whole beans. Taste to season - IMO, you will need to highly season here.
- Ladle soup into deep bowls and serve with crusty warm cibatta bread, freshly grated parmesan, and a healthy drizzle of great quality olive oil.
Who needs a flu shot? Not you.