Hearty Wintry Stew

Will stayed home sick today from work, so I cooked him a hearty winter soup packed full of vitamins when I got home.  It was pretty easy to make since I already had some ingredients sitting around at home.



1 bunch collard greens

1 bunch swiss chard

1 onion

1 medium-sized carrot

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste)

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp aleppo pepper (optional)

half a lemon

1 can cannellini beans

2 cups broth

2 cups water

1 handful whatever leftover dried pasta is around

salt, pepper, and olive oil


In a soup pot, pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom and put it on medium-low heat.  Dice the onion and put in the oil. Put in a pinch of salt and pepper and stir.  Do the same for the carrots which go in right after the onions. Stir and let them soften. In the meantime, wash the greens and separate the stems of the chard. Dice the chard stems into the same size as the carrots and onions and put them in and give them a stir.

While the onions, carrots, and stems are cooking down, wash and shake dry the rest of the greens. I separated the collards from their stems and discarded the stems. Roughly chop the leaves. They can be left pretty large since they shrink while cooking.

When the onions and stems are tender, throw in the rest of the leaves and give it a stir. Then put in the cayenne pepper, aleppo pepper (if you have it) and stir to combine. Once the leaves are wilted and tender, open the can of beans and pour that in, soaking liquid and all. I guess you can rinse the beans, but I think the liquid gives the soup a nice thickness.

Pour in the broth and water and stir to combine.  Put the pasta in, cover the pot, leaving the lid ajar so it doesn’t boil over, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is done. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, add more salt and pepper to taste, ladle into bowls and then serve with some crusty bread.  I had some cheese in the fridge, so I grated that over the soup.

I initially was going to put a teaspoon or so of tomato paste to brown with the onions to give the soup more flavor, but in retrospect that’s not needed at all. The chard stems and all the other vegetables already have plenty of flavor.

Dinner: Kimchi Jigae With Dduk

Dinner: Kimchi Jigae w/ ddukDinner was quick and warming tonight. I made kimchi jigae (kimchi soup), with pounded rice sticks called dduk. The kimchi was from the same batch we bought from the Korean market last month and it’s still as tasty. The dish could have used some green onion, but I didn’t have any on hand.

I love anything with kimchi in it, so I might be biased, but this dish is really good with super fermented kimchi. Like, “oh my god, is this turning into cheese?” fermented. Okay, maybe not that bad, but the kimchi should have a pungent sharp taste that’s almost carbonated. Usually the dish is made with pork belly, but since I wanted to make a vegan version, that sadly had to stay out.

The entire dish was very easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes. Here’s my vegan version:

  • Slice up 2-3 cloves of garlic and sautee in oil (I used peanut oil) for a few seconds.
  • Dump in however much Korean chili pepper flakes you want. The more the spicier. Let that cook for a few seconds until fragrant, but not burned.
  • Pour in 2.5 cups water.
  • Put in about a packed cup of chopped kimchi (more or less depending on how much you like it).
  • Throw in some roughly chopped silken tofu.
  • Put in the dduk (Korean rice cake), or leave it out.
  • Let everything come to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes so the tofu and dduk can absorb the flavor.
  • Final step: if you included dduk, the stew can be eaten as is. If you left it out, spoon it over some steamed rice.

Dinner: Kale Stew

Dinner: Kale and Chickpea stew

For dinner, I made kale and chickpea stew. I initially wanted to start off the broth with some browned onions, but I forgot to get onions at the market, oops. The stew just consists of: garlic, olive oil, chickpea, kale, vegetable broth, and tomato paste. I spiced it up with some red curry powder, cayenne pepper, and a bay leaf, but I’m not sure if that added anything to the soup at all. It’s served on top of some quick garlic bread and topped with a fried egg.