Ham, Kale and Black Bean Soup

I’ve been drowning in snow and a bowl of soup every night has become my favorite part of the night. A side effect of this, and an aversion to canned soup, has resulted in a lot of soup-making. I also don’t like store-bought stocks and broths for soup, preferring to use them in recipes where they aren’t supposed to be the star, and so stock making is an exciting new addition to my repertoire!

This soup is built on a delicious stock made from beef and pork bones. It’s hearty, rich, and absolutely delicious. Rather than the broth being the mechanism for delivery of “the good stuff,” this stock is, in my opinion, the best part of the entire dish. The black beans, ham, and kale round out the soup making it a complete meal that gets more and more delicious as it sits in your fridge.

I suggest making a big pot and eating it all week!

Ham, Kale and Black Bean Soup (Makes ~10 cups) 


  • 1 lb pork bones
  • 1 lb beef marrow ones
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 3 6-inch-long celery ribs
  • 2 peeled cloves of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 handful of parsley
  1. Place bones in  a medium pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes of until a brown scum/foam has formed on top.
  2. Take off of the heat and drain water.
  3. Rinse bones with cool water.
  4. Alternative to steps 1-3: All ingredients except parsley in a metal pan at 375F for 40 minutes.  
  5. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and parsley to the pot with the bones. Cover with water, and simmer covered for 4-6 hours.
  6. Remove all bones/ingredients, turn heat up to high, and reduce by half. Season.


  • 3 cups cubed ham
  • 3 15oz cans of unsalted black beans
  • 2.5 cups raw chopped kale
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cups of stock (previously prepared or store-bought)
  1. Sauté onions and kale in the bottom of a  medium pot over medium heat until the onion starts to become translucent.
  2. Add black beans, 2.5 cans full of water, and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce head to medium/low, add ham, season, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, freshly cracked pepper, and chopped parsley.

Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto

Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto (Serves 6-8)
  • LAMB
    • 3 1/2 -4 1/2 lb Butterflied Leg of Lamb
    • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/2 cup chopped mint
    • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup mint
    • 1/3 cup parsley
    • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat lamb in olive oil and lemon juice. Combine Salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs in a small bowl. Press into the lamb and let sit covered in a cool room for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hrs.
  2. Start grill. It should be VERY HOT.
  3. Blend all pesto ingredients together in a blender, set aside.
  4. When the grill is hot, lift the lamb from the marinate, allowing excess oil to drip off and place on the hottest part fatty side down. Because of the oil and herbs it will probably flair up. That’s awesome. Just step back so you don’t burn your eyebrows off.
  5. Grill for ~10 minutes per side depending on the size of the roast. Note: grill longer if you don’t like your meat rare/medium rare.
  6. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably longer, before slicing. Top with mint pesto and serve with warm pita, grilled vegetables, and tzatziki sauce.

Turkey Chili for a Crowd


I’ve put myself on a pretty strict budget lately. The best way to keep to it? Cooking for myself. Big pot meals like casseroles, pasta dishes, and the like are the easiest and most cost effective way to stick to my financial plan.

Every Halloween my mom makes a huge batch of chili and invites everyone in town over. Her chili is legendary and is based primarily on the Silver Palate Cookbook’s “Chili For a Crowd.” To make chili healthier and more inexpensive per serving I’ve substituted in turkey and added mushrooms. I suggest topping it off with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.


1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound yellow onions coarsely chopped
1.5 lb ground turkey
6 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tbsp cup ground cumin
1.5 tbsp cup chili powder
2 tbsp cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt to taste
1 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
2 cans Italian plum tomatoes – (28 oz ea) drained
10 oz sliced white mushrooms
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cup chopped parsley
1 can dark-red kidney beans – (16 oz ea) drained

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the ground turkey; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meat is cooked through. Stir in mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, parsley, mushrooms, and kidney beans. Stir well and lower to a simmer. Cook covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Serve immediately or portion into containers to freeze.

(adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook)