RECIPE: Kale Cioppino



Ten years ago, when chef Catherine Walthers prepared to write her book, Kale, Glorious Kale, some of us now on staff at Bluedot were lucky enough to be part of her testing kitchen. She joked that her family at one point had eaten kale in some form for thirty days straight. Here's a recipe for a kale soup with ingredients you can get at the fish store.

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Kale Cioppino

RECIPE: Kale Cioppino

  • Author: Catherine Walthers
  • Yield: Serves 4


Living on the island of Martha's Vineyard means clams and striped bass are often plentiful. Cooked in a base of tomatoes, garlic and herbs, they create a perfect base for braising kale. I like the way dinosaur or lacinato kale melts in this, but any type of kale would be good. This is an easy dish, but good enough for company along with chilled white wine and fresh bread or garlic bread.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole leek, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juices or 3 cups home-canned or frozen tomatoes pulsed to finely chop in a food processor
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (1/2 bunch approximately) kale, ribs removed, and cut into fairly small bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 12 cherrystone clams, scrubbed well
  • 18 mussels, rinsed
  • 1 pound striped bass, halibut, or cod, cut into uniform pieces, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches


  1. Sauté the leek in the olive oil until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir another minute more until fragrant. Add the wine and boil for a minute or two. Add the stock, tomatoes, herbs, 2 pinches of salt, and kale and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, at medium low heat for 10 minutes.

  2. Turn dish to medium high again. Add the clams first and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the mussels and nestle the fish, cover, and simmer on medium until mussels open, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Once you add the fish, try not to stir too much to keep the fish from breaking up.

  3. Once the clams and mussels are open, the dish is done.

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.
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