Friday, January 16, 2009

The End of Kale - Recipe: Potato Kale Soup

No, not the end of my passion for kale, I have finally come to the end of my own home-grown kale. Unlike store-bought fresh spinach, which seems to get slimy in the refrigerator within just days of purchase, kale seems to last for weeks and weeks. This is a photo of the last of my garden kale, harvested during a brief lull in our cold snowy winter last month in December. You can see how crisp and green (or red) and fresh the many shapes and sizes of the leaves look. Being harvested well after a good frost (in fact being harvested after being covered with snow and even ice), the taste of this kale is almost sweet, certainly "kale-tasting" but without any harsh and strong flavors that so often cause people to simply prefer their kale as decoration on their plate. 

What to do with my kale? So many options, what else do I have in the house to use? Well, more potatoes from our Thanksgiving CSA share are still waiting to be put to use as is some vegetable broth in the freezer, a bit of milk, and plenty of garlic from our garden. Not much else is needed for terrific potato-kale soup, a classic recipe that is easy, delicious, and healthy, healthy, healthy. 

Here is what I did.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 quart vegetable broth (could use chicken broth or water)
4 cups of washed and chopped kale (large stems removed, but small stems are fine)
2-4 cloves of garlic, smashed or cut fine
2-3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil, add garlic to brown slightly (do not burn). Add broth to soup pot and potatoes. Cook for 10-20 minutes (depending on size of potatoes) until potatoes are almost tender. Then add kale leaves and milk to soup pot. Heat until kale leaves are tender and soup is hot but not boiling. This won't take long if kale leaves were small and tender to begin with. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. 

Serve with a salad, fruit, and fresh bread or muffins. Here you can see we ate this soup with some roasted brussels sprouts (the final ones from our Thanksgiving CSA share) with some olive oil to dip them in, a pumpkin-flax muffin (recipe in an upcoming post), and my husband's homemade "fire in the belly applesauce". Yum, yum! 

Although we ate this food for our evening meal, I would like to end with a prayer of thankfulness about starting a new day, including a photo of sunrise from the back of our home this morning. I look forward to starting a new day, filled with challenges and opportunities, grateful that on this below-zero but sunny morning that I have plenty of food to eat and a warm home filled with love, along with thankfulness for the safe landing and rescue for the flight that landed in New York's Hudson River yesterday.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Shayne said...

I enjoy sun rises so much more then sun sets for some reason. I think maybe they give me a feeling of accomplishment before I even start my day...that is if I get up in time to see the the sun rise.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana thanks for this page, I love sun rises and healthy food, people that love and praise God. I just found your page some months ago at the time I recovery from a long ovarian cancer treatment, and experience God Mercy in my miraculous recovery.
I thanks God for your generosity to share this information, I was completely lost and afraid to eat something that hurts me. Now I enjoy your daily recommendations.

Unknown said...

Looks scrumptious, Mom! I've recently been making lots of dishes with kale as well, although I wish it had been home grown like yours.