Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kale Soup

So I passed the big “5 Oh” without much ado.  I suppose the medicinal influences of New Orleans didn’t hurt.  Looked like I was free and clear of any emotional meltdown until I get this in the mail.

What a buzz kill.  What exactly does AARP stand for?  If its aging agitated retired people, than I'm halfway there.  Certainly not retired, I'm still dishing it out ( get it, dishing...nevermind). 

All this talk about aging has me thinking about Kale, the modern day super food.  Before you start hissing at me and calling me a band wagoner, know that I’ve been making this soup since early Metropolitain.  Back then I couldn’t give it away. 

Now it’s all the rage. Kale is more popular than the Flaming Lips.   The question is, should I  
join?  Not the rock band, AARP.  It’s only 16  bucks a year and I get a free tote bag.  You can’t buy a good tote bag for less than 25, so I’m thinking it’s a good deal.   They also give discounts on hotels, rental cars and bifocals.  

Since I’m feeling pretty good these days, I’m giving you two recipes, regular and unleaded.   It would help if you also had one of these bad boys lying around the kitchen.

Might be time to take the 20 percent coupon to the nearest Blood Bath and Beyond and get one.  You could also use an immersible blender.

Here’s the recipe.

2 bunches of Kale, stemmed and washed
6 strips of bacon
1 cups leeks, sliced
1 T garlic pasted
2 cups chopped potatoes
Chicken Stock
1 cup heavy cream

If you want a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and replace the stock with vegetable stock.  And if you want the no fat version, lose the heavy cream.  It’s all good. Since it's just me and my daughter for dinner tonight (vegetarian), I'll be making the latter version.

Cook the bacon until it renders some fat.  Alternately, use olive oil here.  Then add the leeks and garlic and sweat them on medium heat for a minute or two.

Next add the potatoes, then enough stock to cover.

  This is important.  Too much stock will make a runny soup.  The Kale has a lot of water too, so do as I say here. Let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked.  

 A knife easily cuts through a cooked potato. Then and only then, add the Kale. 

It's literally coming out of the pot.  That's good.  It's going to wilt

 And wilt. It's still dropping liquid so no panicking here. Here is the key. We want to cook the Kale at the precise point where it still has a vibrant green color (and flavor), and yet will puree properly.  So you need to stand over the pot, stirring and saying nice things to your soup.  Don’t laugh, I do it all the time.

 See that?  Deep green and ready for the blender.   Take it off the heat and ladle into your brand new Vitamix until half full.  By the way, don't do this with a cheap blender.  Just don't.  Imagine a green volcano.  It's not a good site.

 Flip the switch and go check your twitter account. This should take 30-45 seconds.

 Green Goddess me oh my.  

I served mine with so croutons and goat's cheese.  


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