Kale only becomes sweeter and sweeter in cool, fall weather. It’s sheer chemistry converting and concentrating the kale’s sugars. And, even after the first snow, it still will be thriving in the garden. As I’ve mentioned before, kale is a superfood, rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium and fiber.
Kale enhances any hearty, vegetable or meat soup. Here’s a Portuguese kale soup adapted from a children’s cookbook, Blue Moon Soup (1999).
Full Moon Soup
1/3 cup dried kidney beans, rinsed and soaked overnight in 3 cups of water; or 1/2 cup canned kidney beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pepper, green or another color, chopped
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 large bunch of kale, chopped
fresh basil, chopped, to taste
fresh sage, chopped, to taste
4 cups of water or vegetable stock
3-4 large tomatoes, chopped; or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 chicken sausages, cooked and sliced into rounds (the original recipe calls for linguica, a Portuguese sausage)
kale and grated parmesan for garnish
1. If using dried kidney beans, boil in 2 cups of water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, save broth and set beans aside.
2. Heat the oil in a soup pan on medium heat.
3. Add onions, peppers, celery, carrot, 1/2 c kale, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and sausage. Saute another 5 minutes.
5. Add remaining kale, kidney bean broth, 4 cups of water or stock. Stir.
6. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
7. Ladle into bowls and garnish.