Kale is one of those vegetables that is never out of season, or it least so it seems. It is often the the workhorse green, and only recently has gotten trendy.
It seems that the words ‘kale’ and ‘chips’ are now partnered, like ‘potato’ and ‘chips’ or ‘fish’ and ‘chips’ or even ‘wood’ and ‘chips’……
Since you might very well have kale on hand right this minute…here are some suggestions from what I’m reading right this minute.
- Garlic – lots of garlic
- Something sharp – lemon juice, vinegars
- Something mellow – olive oil
- Red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce
- Bacon – just a little – or other strong sausages – linguica and chorizo are very good
- Smoked paprika and smoked salt
from Deborah Madison. Vegetable Literacy.Ten Speed Press: 2013. p. 134.
But when I think of kale, I think of potatoes…like Colcannon or Caldo Verde. Not the trendy kales, the traditional ones.
So here’s a soup that right anytime of the year, and is all but guaranteed to make any day better.
BACK TO BASIC KALE AND POTATO SOUP
3 TBL olive oil
8-10 garlic cloves, minced (or just use the whole head)
¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Quarts vegetable stock (or water)
4 cups peeled and finely diced potatoes (about 4 medium – she calls for waxy potatoes, which will hold their shape, but I also like it when the potatoes give up their shape…)
1 # kale, washed and stripped of the nasty rib (DM says, “It’s as tough as rope and will never get tender, ever.”) and chopped or cut into ribbons
1 teaspoon salt (used a smoked salt to change it up or if you’d like less garlic)
- Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold everything by the end over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minutes. Do not let the garlic get as all brown. It should smell good (it should smell GREAT) – you’re infusing the oil to help those flavor compounds carry.
- Pour in the stock (or water), raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Add the potatoes, lower the heat and keep at a lively simmer. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the kale and the salt and cook 15 more minutes.
Serves 4-6 as a main course.
Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. HarperCollins, 1998. p. 119.