Why Haggle with a Chicken?

julia with chicken.jpg

Vintage cookbooks are making a comeback.  Actually, they aren't.  In fact, they have always been popular. Old cookbooks have taught many generations how to cook, comforted newlyweds with tried and true recipes and saved many dinner parties from possible disaster.  

I have always been drawn to old cookbooks.  Their recipes and often colorful artwork and photography often reveal what seemed like simpler times.  But as we all know cooking from scratch today isn't always practical.  That's where Broiled Grapefruit comes in!  Most of the recipes featured in my posts are quick and easy!  And if you are a vintage cookbook lover like me, each recipe comes with the added treat of knowing that they're based in history!  Vintage cookbooks hold a special place in my heart, but some of these old recipes need a little tender loving care, or updating if you will.

So, instead of the usual chicken dinner, why don't you try this plant-based white bean stew.  It's loaded with flavor and colorful vitamins and minerals in the form of cannellini beans, kale, garlic and chili oil!

blog post kale soup.jpg

White Bean Stew Recipe inspired by Mastering The Art of French Cooking (Pot au Feu) by Julia Child 1961


-1 15 can ounce cannellini beans

-1 head of kale, cleaned, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces

-2 cloves of minced garlic

-2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 cup red onion

-10 cups vegetarian chicken broth

-1 cup small Italian pasta Acini de Pepe (shown) or Pastina work very well

-1/4 cup chili oil for garnish (optional)


Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil over low to medium heat being careful not to brown. Add the kale and saute for about one minute. Add the beans and their juice, and broth.  Simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the kale is cooked and the flavors have had a chance to blend together.  Add the pasta and simmer for another 7 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and drizzle with chili oil.  Serve warm. with a generous slice of hard crusted bread!

Note: You can substitute different beans in this recipe as well as a variety of dark leafy greens.  Just make sure your greens are sturdy like collards and/or mustard greens.  Also, when substituting beans, if their juice is thin, you may want to thicken your broth with a roux or simmer it down a bit (lid off) until the right flavor and consistency is reached.