Big Bunches of Greens

My garden gives me great joy, but sometimes overwhelms me with too much of a good thing. I’ve also found the same thing true at farmer’s markets. There is so much beauty I want to take it all home, but if I do it without a plan, it might go to waste. This recipe is for such times as you find yourself with the desirable problem of too many fresh greens in your fridge. It’s filling and stew-y, but also very rustic Italian and sophisticated. I can’t help but feel good about life when I eat this. Warning: Eat it for lunch and you might find yourself justifying a half glass of red wine at noon. You’re welcome.

Summer Solstice Soup of Garden Greens and White Beans
Don’t worry if you’re missing something. Either substitute another green, like Swiss Chard, Arugula, or Mustard, or leave it out.

2 T. Olive Oil
1 small Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, sliced
a handful of Garlic Scapes, chopped
1 small bunch Kale, sliced into ribbons
3 C. Chicken or Veggie Broth, or Water
1 small bunch Broccoli Raab, stems and leaves separated and chopped
½ lb. Asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 can White Kidney Beans
3 T. Chopped Parsley
1 T. Fresh chopped Thyme
½ lb. Spinach, chopped
Salt and Pepper
3 Tomatoes, diced
freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or so, until nicely browned and fragrant. Turn the heat to medium- high and add the garlic scapes and kale. After a minute, stir in the broth or water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale is nearly tender. Add the broccoli raab stems, asparagus, white beans, parsley and thyme. Stir and cook uncovered until the raab is tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the spinach and broccoli raab leaves and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in big bowls with chopped tomato and grated Parmesan on top, and basil if you’ve got it.