Have you heard the news? Lucky Peach, the independent-minded, thought provoking, bold voice in food media, is folding. I will miss it so much. I’ve always admired and felt a kinship with its spirit. Others saw that in me, too. When the first issue of Lucky Peach was published, my best friend from college, Victoria, sent me the first issue: “I thought of you.” My daughter’s kindergarten teacher, Marcie, thought of me, too, and offered me a subscription. Awed by the genius of its “Contorni Matrix,” I’ve shared with many this brilliant grid of the many ways to prepare many vegetables. I read a lot of food writing, some focused on recipes, others on food and travel, and some on nutrition. Lucky Peach is not a polished food photography magazine, nor a healthy eating magazine, nor a magazine about food and travel. It’s an ever-changing, always surprising, and always interesting presentation about food in all its meanings. For my cooking series at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, the Thrive Kitchen, I count the Lucky Peach cookbook, Power Vegetables, among my resources for recipes and inspiration. I am 100% sure that the Lucky Peach team has no intention of being a source of “healthy” recipes, but that’s why I love them. No bland vegetables here, these recipes instead boldly present the many flavors, textures, shapes and colors of the plant kingdom. Just my kind of cooking– always interesting, unafraid of personality. Food you’ll eat because it tastes amazing, not because it is good for you (even though it happens to be).
So yes, I’ll be sad when Lucky Peach is no longer. It had been one of my dreams to have a piece published in Lucky Peach, but I guess my time has run out. For now, I’m sharing the Lucky Peach recipe for ribollita, the Tuscan kale soup which I included at the first Thrive Kitchen class on soups and salads of the world. Why not make a pot of it now? It has green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, and also to get everyone excited for my Eat Your Greens! class on Tuesday. Enjoy it, it’s pretty fantastic. Just like Lucky Peach.
Ribollita (Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup)
Recipe adapted from Lucky Peach Power Vegetables
Makes: 1 gallon (8 x 2 cup servings)
2T extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
3C diced onions
3C diced carrots
3C diced celery
4C chopped savoy cabbage (about ½ head)
1/3 cup tomato paste
8C lacinato kale (about two bunches), chopped
10 C water
5 C cooked cannellini beans (or 3 cans, drained)
freshly ground black pepper
thin slices of bread, toasted
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
fresh thyme leaves
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Season with salt and stir to coat the vegetables with the oil. Cover and sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add savor cabbage and mix well, cover and cook until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, distributing evenly. Reduce heat to low and add kale. Mix well, cover pot, and stew until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add 8 cups of water and increase heat to a boil.
- Meanwhile, puree 3 cups of the beans with the remaining 2 cups of water in a blender.
- Whisk the puree into the soup and add the remaining beans. Bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, uncovered, another 30 minutes.
- Season soup with salt and lots of pepper.
- Serve in bowls, and top each bowl with toast, Parigiano, pepper, thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.
Cal 199, Fat 4g, Protein 11g, Sodium 294 g, Sugar 7g
And for those of you in the San Francisco Bay area, this is your reminder to register for my next Thrive Kitchen cooking class on April 18, Spring Vegetables. Registration opens today (one month before the class) and typically fills quickly, so don’t miss your chance! Email SFHEalthEd@kp.org to secure your spot. The menu is still in the works but I can promise you many of the beautiful vegetables of spring, including radishes, asparagus, peas, carrots and more. And I’ll try to include a Lucky Peach recipe, in tribute. As always you’re invited to join my healthy cooking community on Facebook, The Doctor’s Spicebox. To your health!