Zuppa di Cavolo Nero – Black Cabbage Soup

Cavolo Nero or black cabbage is similar to kale and is a classic ingredient for this hearty soup.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes or red pepper pesto
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 2 medium red skin potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 fennel stalk, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup minced parlsey
  • 1/2 lb kale, tough stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 16 ounce can whole cherry tomatoes or fresh equivalent,diced
  • juice one lemon
  • 1 32oz can vegetable broth or water
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 can drained and rinsed cannellini beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, lentils or a combination.
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind “croutons”


  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the pancetta and allow to cook until the pancetta begins to brown; stir in pepper flakes, carrots, potatoes, fennel, onion and parsley. Cook stirring frequently until the vegetables begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the kale, tomatoes, lemon juice, broth, cayenne pepper and celery seed. Add enough water if need be just to cover the ingredeints.
  2. Cover the pot bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes or just until the vegetables are cooked but not mushy. Stir in the kidney beans. Laddle into soup bowls and sprinkle the croutons over the top.

This recipe was featured on Season 19 - Episode 1917.

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