Cold wet winter days are very conducive for eating hot soup. For those who know me, I don’t necessarily wait for a drastic temperature drop to eat a bowl of piping hot soup. Even I managed to get hubby addicted to soup on a weekly basis regardless the time of year. You can practically use every vegetable imaginable to make soup with. This time, I decided to try something different and use kale. For those of you who have never been properly introduced to kale, Kale is an archaic type of cabbage that grows loosely furled leaves, rather than forming a head. The leaves have a distinctive ruffly appearance that distinguishes the plant from a close relative, collard greens. This vegetable tends to be a little bit bitter in flavor, although this bitterness is tempered by washing, cooking, and using younger leaves. It is also extraordinarily nutritionally rich, even among the leafy green vegetables.
Aside for soups, kale can be used for side dishes, salads and snacks. Heck, I’ve seen recipes for kale chips which I may try out sometime in the near future. This soup is rich in flavors and very healthy. I ended up blending the entire ingredients together to give the soup a thick creamy texture. Most kale soup recipes I’ve seen request for hot dogs or sausages which I did not include. But that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a couple of wieners :-). If you are a vegetarian, you can use tofu dogs as well. Using barley or chickpeas would be a great way to incorporate some protein in your soup which I didn’t do either. To minimize the starchiness, I used kohlrabi for this soup as well. Kohlrabi is a a small bulbous member of the cabbage family. For all intents and purposes, kohlrabi appears to be a root vegetable in the same company as turnips, radishes and rutabagas. However, the bulbous shape is caused by a swelling of the plant’s stem near the ground. In that sense, it is more of a tightly packed version of its cousin, cabbage. In fact, the name is derived from two German words: kohl meaning cabbage and rabi meaning turnip. It is not unusual to hear the term “turnip cabbage” to describe this vegetable.
Food for thought 🙂
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 bunch of kale stems removed and leaves chopped
- 6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
- 3-4 large kohlrabi peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper for taste
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot; cook the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth,kohlrabi, chickpeas Italian seasoning, and parsley. Simmer soup on medium heat for 25 minutes, or until kohlrabi are cooked through. Puree with a hand blender till smooth. (You can throw in some cooked hot dogs or sausages after this process). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yields 6-8 servings