Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 29: Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chili...and Sausage

It has been a tremendous honor to cook the recipes of The Greens Cook Book.  I regret the harm that my actions may have caused my family, my friends, and my readers.  I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all.  I have made profound changes to this soup, and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness...Whoa, sorry -- channeling Congressman Lee a bit there.

I planned on making Portuguese Potato Kale Soup from Healthy Cooking for Two tonight.  It has Kielbasa in it (which I love) but the seasonings seemed so bland, and after my disappointment in the last soup I made from that cookbook I decided to make something else.  Then I remembered The Greens Cook Book had a recipe for Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chili.  Now that sounded delicious!  But it's a vegetarian cookbook, and I was really looking forward to having some Kielbasa tonight, so...I did it!  I altered the recipe by adding about 4 ounces of Kielbasa which I sliced and cooked with the onions.  For the stock I used 3 cups water, and 4 cups vegetable stock.  I also used the optional nutritional yeast.

This soup is so good.  I added a dollop of sour cream to my soup, and it added a nice creamy texture.  Paul did not add the sour cream, and it was still delicious and creamy from the potatoes.  I don't regret adding the Kielbasa either -- it added a nice smoky flavor to the stock.  The chili flakes added a subtle heat to the soup that went really well with the kale and Kielbasa.

I listed both recipes below.  You can try one, try both or just add the Kielbasa like I did.  My conscience is clear.  I'll sleep well tonight, and my belly will be full of delicious soup!

Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chili
The Greens Cook Book
Yield:  Serves 4 to 6

The Stock 
The ingredients of this soup supply plenty of flavor, so use water to prepare a simple stock using the stems of the kale.

The Soup
1 bunch kale
3 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, diced into 1/2 inch squares
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small dried red chili, seeded and chopped, or 1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
7 cups water or stock
Creme Fraiche or sour cream (optional)

     Using a sharp knife, cut the ruffled kale leaves off their stems, which are very tough and take a long time to cook.  Cut the leaves into pieces roughly 2 inches square, wash them well, and set them aside.
     Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic, chili, bay leaf, and salt, and cook over medium high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the potatoes and the yeast, if using, plus a cup of the water or stock.  Stir together, cover, and cook slowly for 5 minutes.
     Add the kale, cover, and steam until it is wilted, stirring occasionally.  Pour in the rest of the water or stock, bring to a boil, then simmer slowly, covered, until the potatoes are quite soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
     Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the potatoes by pressing them against the sides of the pot, or puree a cup or two of the soup in a blender and return it to the pot.  This will make a unifying background for the other elements.
     Taste the soup for salt and add a generous grinding of black pepper.  If possible, let the soup sit for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to further develop.  Serve the soup hot without any garnish, or with a spoonful of creme fraiche or sour cream if desired.

Portuguese Potato-Kale Soup
Healthy Cooking for Two (or just you)
Yield:  Serves 4

1 pound kale, washed
2 cups cubed boiling potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
4 cups water
4 ounces smoked kielbasa or chorizo, sliced
2 tbsp hot-pepper vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

     Trim the thick stems from the greens, stack and roll several leaves at a time and cut them into strips about 1/2 inch wide.
     Place the greens in a heavy 2 quart (or 3 quart) saucepan with the potatoes, water and kielbasa or chorizo.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cover and cook the soup over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
     Stir in the vinegar.  Then taste the soup and add the salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Tomorrow night:  Persian Spiced Rice.

1 comment:

  1. It was really a delicious soup. I also liked the kielbasa - a little meat in a soup once in awhile is a good thing. I was doubtful about the kale - I was afraid I would not like it - don't know why exactly - but it was great in the soup. I don't worry about mixing two recipes because I like the experimenting - but I suppose it's harder to replicate if you add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It was definitely delicious...