Passata di Cavolo Nero
Black kale “Passata soup”

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes
    • Difficulty Level

AV_POST_00016_BLACK-KALE-PASSATA---INGREDIENTS

Total Cost: UK/£ 6,49*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 0,87*

I was quite surprised when I first saw “cavolo nero” on the supermarket’s shelves, since I know it isn’t commonly grown in England. I am quite sure I never saw it before a year ago. Maybe I am wrong, but I guess that many of you do not know the great potential of this a variety of kale.

Its origins are in Tuscany, where it has been grown for centuries, so it is also known as Tuscan Kale or Tuscan cabbage and it is one of the most characteristic ingredients for “ribollita”, the wonderful tuscan soup made with vegetables and unsalted bread, that slowly cooks for hours and hours… and hours, hence the name “ri-bollita”: “re-boiled”.

It has dark green-blue elongated leaves which blades have a very bumpy and embossed surface. They need quite a long time to cook, but in order to preserve their nutritional properties, it would be better to cook their tasty ribs first and then add the rest of the leaves’ blades.

Any of you who love broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, will fall in love with cavolo nero. A passata is a blended soup made only with one main ingredient, vegetable stock and potatoes, which are the thickening component of the recipe. It can easily be frozen, then defrosted overnight in the fridge and reheated gently (if necessary, use the blender to smooth it again).

Therefore I think this is the best way of getting acquainted with its deep earthy taste.

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • Black kale - 600gr (with its stalk)

  • Yellow flesh Potatoes - 450gr

  • Sweet Onion or White Onion - 1 large (about 200gr)

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 1 or 2

  • Extra virgin olive oil - 80gr

  • Salt - a pinch

  • Vegetable stock* - 3lt(see recipe here)

  • *in alternative, 3lt of boiling water and two stock cubs or three gel portions. Reduce the amount of salt that follows.
  • Fresh water - 500ml to 750ml

  • Part of the boiled vegetables from the stock preparation (onion, carrot, celery) - about 200gr (optional)

  • Salt - 10gr

  • Bay leaf - 1

  • Black pepper corns - 1gr or to taste

  • Salt - to taste

  • Extra hot water - 50ml to 75ml

  • Extra virgin olive oil - a drizzle

  • Utensils

  • Sterilising fluid for food - (use according to instructions)

  • One chopping board

  • One paring knife

  • One chef knife

  • One large and deep non-stick frying pan

  • One medium saucepan

  • One large saucepan

  • One large bowl or the kitchen sink

  • One large bowl

  • One medium bowl

  • One kitchen towel

  • One pestle and mortar

  • One ladle

  • One hand blender

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the vegetable stock to boil and cutting the black kale leaves’ spine

    • Vegetable stock - 3lt(see recipe here)
    • *in alternative, 3lt of boiling water and two stock cubs or gel portions. Reduce the amount of salt that follows.

    • Black kale - 600gr (with its stalk)

    • One medium saucepan
    • One paring knife
    • One chopping board

      Cooking black kale is quite time demanding, so you will need to separate the tough leaves’ ribs from their flat green blades first.
      Put the medium saucepan with the stock on a medium-high heat.
      Cut off each leaf from its main stalk. Then, put one leaf flat on the chopping board with its face down. Drive the paring knife blade along the rib’s sides, from the tip to the other end (step 1 - pic. A). Separate the rib and keep it aside (step 1 - pic. B).

  • 2.
    Washing the black kale and frying the garlic

    • Black kale leaves and ribs - about 500gr
    • Extra virgin olive oil - 80gr
    • “Suited garlic” - 1 or 2 cloves

    • Sterilising fluid for food - (use according to instructions)
    • One large bowl or the kitchen sink
    • One large and deep non-stick frying pan

      Clean the sink, fill it with fresh clean water and add the sterilising fluid according to its instructions.
      Bathe the leaves in the sink’s water. Let them rest for about 15 minutes or as long as the instructions say to be enough. Move them gently from time to time, so the dirt will fall on the bottom.
      
Meanwhile, put the deep non-stick frying pan on a low heat with the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic.

  • 3.
    Frying the onion and pealing the potatoes

    • Yellow flesh Potatoes - 450gr
    • Sweet Onion or White Onion - 1 large (about 200gr)

    • One paring knife
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • One medium bowl
    • One kitchen towel

      Fill the medium bowl with fresh water, peal the potatoes and put them into the bowl so they don’t blacken while you prepare the onion.
      With the paring knife, clean the onion’s roots, the tip and peal it off. Cut it in half and mince it into a thin and uniform brunoise* (step 3 - pic. A).
      Add the onions to the frying pan with the garlic and the oil. Spread them evenly and let them to absorb the fat.
      Increase slightly the heat and let them fry gently until they become slightly translucent (step 3 - pic. B). Season with salt and black pepper, then keep stirring while they tenderise.
      Set the power to the minimum.

      Note about cutting the onion into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the onion’s tip. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the onion together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 4.
    Rinsing the black kale and frying the potatoes

    • The black kale in the sink
    • The potatoes in the bowl
    • The frying pan with the garlic and onions

    • One kitchen towel
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board

      Move the black kale into a large bowl. Drain the dirty water, clean the sink and put the black kale back in. Fill the sink again with fresh water and rince the leaves one last time, then move them from the sink to the bowl again.
      Drain the water from the bowl with the potatoes. Rinse them under fresh water and dry them with a kitchen towel.
      With a chef knife, dice the potatoes in about 1cm thick cubes (step 4 - pic. A).
      Add them to the frying garlic and onions and stir them evenly (step 4 - pic. B).
      Increase the power to a medium heat.

  • 5.
    Chopping and frying the black kale

    • The clean black kale
    • The frying pan with the potatoes
    • Sal - a pinch
    • Black pepper corns - 1gr or to taste
    • Fresh water - 500ml to 750ml

    • One chopping board
    • One chef knife
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One ladle

      Collect the black kale ribs and chop them in quite thin rolls.
      Add them to the frying potatoes and stir them evenly together. Allow them to soften with the potatoes for about 3 or 4 minutes.
      Chop the black kale leaves into quite small piece always keeping an eye on the frying pan (step 5 - pic. A).
      When the potatoes have given back the oil they have absorbed and their edges have started to brown lightly, add the rest of the black kale.
      Stir them evenly and add one ladle of fresh water (step 5 - pic. B).
      Let the mixture cook on a medium-high heat always adding water ladle by ladle, until the black kale has soften: it will take from 8 to 10 minutes.
      Never allow the mixture dry; meanwhile, crush the black pepper corn into the mortar.

  • 6.
    Adding the stock to the vegetable mixture

    • The vegetable mixture in the frying pan
    • The boiling stock
    • Salt - 10gr
    • The crushed black pepper
    • Part of the boiled vegetables from the stock preparation (onion, carrot, celery) - about 200gr (optional)
    • Bay leaf - 1

    • One large saucepan

      Move the vegetable mixture from the frying pan to the large saucepan, then add all the 3lt of boling stock (step 6 - pic. A). Put the saucepan on a high heat.
      If you have made fresh vegetable stock for this soup, add some of its vegetables: onions, carrots and celery will give and extra flavour to the soup. Discard instead the garlic and the apple you might have added to the stock.
      Add the 10gr of salt.
      Add the bay leaf and a good part of the crushed black pepper (step 6 - pic. B).
      Let the mixture come to the boiling, then reduce the heat and let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure the chopped black kale ribs are perfectly cooked through.

  • 7.
    Blending the soup

    • The hot mixture in the saucepan
    • Salt - to taste
    • The remaining black pepper
    • Extra hot water - 50ml to 75ml
    • Extra virgin olive oil - a drizzle

    • One hand blender

      Move the saucepan away from heat, take out the bay leaf, then finely blend the mixture into a a quite dense cream.
      Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. If the passata is too thick, then add some extra hot water and mix the lot again with the hand blender.
      Let it settle for 5 minutes before serving it, possibly with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and bread croutons on top.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the vegetable stock to boil and cutting the black kale leaves’ spine

    • Vegetable stock - 3lt(see recipe here)
    • *in alternative, 3lt of boiling water and two stock cubs or gel portions. Reduce the amount of salt that follows.

    • Black kale - 600gr (with its stalk)

    • One medium saucepan
    • One paring knife
    • One chopping board

      Cooking black kale is quite time demanding, so you will need to separate the tough leaves’ ribs from their flat green blades first.
      Put the medium saucepan with the stock on a medium-high heat.
      Cut off each leaf from its main stalk. Then, put one leaf flat on the chopping board with its face down. Drive the paring knife blade along the rib’s sides, from the tip to the other end (step 1 - pic. A). Separate the rib and keep it aside (step 1 - pic. B).

  • 2.
    Washing the black kale and frying the garlic

    • Black kale leaves and ribs - about 500gr
    • Extra virgin olive oil - 80gr
    • “Suited garlic” - 1 or 2 cloves

    • Sterilising fluid for food - (use according to instructions)
    • One large bowl or the kitchen sink
    • One large and deep non-stick frying pan

      Clean the sink, fill it with fresh clean water and add the sterilising fluid according to its instructions.
      Bathe the leaves in the sink’s water. Let them rest for about 15 minutes or as long as the instructions say to be enough. Move them gently from time to time, so the dirt will fall on the bottom.
      
Meanwhile, put the deep non-stick frying pan on a low heat with the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic.

  • 3.
    Frying the onion and pealing the potatoes

    • Yellow flesh Potatoes - 450gr
    • Sweet Onion or White Onion - 1 large (about 200gr)

    • One paring knife
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • One medium bowl
    • One kitchen towel

      Fill the medium bowl with fresh water, peal the potatoes and put them into the bowl so they don’t blacken while you prepare the onion.
      With the paring knife, clean the onion’s roots, the tip and peal it off. Cut it in half and mince it into a thin and uniform brunoise* (step 3 - pic. A).
      Add the onions to the frying pan with the garlic and the oil. Spread them evenly and let them to absorb the fat.
      Increase slightly the heat and let them fry gently until they become slightly translucent (step 3 - pic. B). Season with salt and black pepper, then keep stirring while they tenderise.
      Set the power to the minimum.

      Note about cutting the onion into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the onion’s tip. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the onion together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 4.
    Rinsing the black kale and frying the potatoes

    • The black kale in the sink
    • The potatoes in the bowl
    • The frying pan with the garlic and onions

    • One kitchen towel
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board

      Move the black kale into a large bowl. Drain the dirty water, clean the sink and put the black kale back in. Fill the sink again with fresh water and rince the leaves one last time, then move them from the sink to the bowl again.
      Drain the water from the bowl with the potatoes. Rinse them under fresh water and dry them with a kitchen towel.
      With a chef knife, dice the potatoes in about 1cm thick cubes (step 4 - pic. A).
      Add them to the frying garlic and onions and stir them evenly (step 4 - pic. B).
      Increase the power to a medium heat.

  • 5.
    Chopping and frying the black kale

    • The clean black kale
    • The frying pan with the potatoes
    • Sal - a pinch
    • Black pepper corns - 1gr or to taste
    • Fresh water - 500ml to 750ml

    • One chopping board
    • One chef knife
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One ladle

      Collect the black kale ribs and chop them in quite thin rolls.
      Add them to the frying potatoes and stir them evenly together. Allow them to soften with the potatoes for about 3 or 4 minutes.
      Chop the black kale leaves into quite small piece always keeping an eye on the frying pan (step 5 - pic. A).
      When the potatoes have given back the oil they have absorbed and their edges have started to brown lightly, add the rest of the black kale.
      Stir them evenly and add one ladle of fresh water (step 5 - pic. B).
      Let the mixture cook on a medium-high heat always adding water ladle by ladle, until the black kale has soften: it will take from 8 to 10 minutes.
      Never allow the mixture dry; meanwhile, crush the black pepper corn into the mortar.

  • 6.
    Adding the stock to the vegetable mixture

    • The vegetable mixture in the frying pan
    • The boiling stock
    • Salt - 10gr
    • The crushed black pepper
    • Part of the boiled vegetables from the stock preparation (onion, carrot, celery) - about 200gr (optional)
    • Bay leaf - 1

    • One large saucepan

      Move the vegetable mixture from the frying pan to the large saucepan, then add all the 3lt of boling stock (step 6 - pic. A). Put the saucepan on a high heat.
      If you have made fresh vegetable stock for this soup, add some of its vegetables: onions, carrots and celery will give and extra flavour to the soup. Discard instead the garlic and the apple you might have added to the stock.
      Add the 10gr of salt.
      Add the bay leaf and a good part of the crushed black pepper (step 6 - pic. B).
      Let the mixture come to the boiling, then reduce the heat and let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure the chopped black kale ribs are perfectly cooked through.

  • 7.
    Blending the soup

    • The hot mixture in the saucepan
    • Salt - to taste
    • The remaining black pepper
    • Extra hot water - 50ml to 75ml
    • Extra virgin olive oil - a drizzle

    • One hand blender

      Move the saucepan away from heat, take out the bay leaf, then finely blend the mixture into a a quite dense cream.
      Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. If the passata is too thick, then add some extra hot water and mix the lot again with the hand blender.
      Let it settle for 5 minutes before serving it, possibly with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and bread croutons on top.

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