Main Dishes Recipe Index

Mixed Vegetable and Baby Kale Soup

02/10/2011

I was so excited to see our baby kale sprouting up in the greenhouse over the weekend. As usual, a flurry of recipes filled my mind.

Usually, I toss fully grown kale into a white bean and Italian sausage stew – one of my winter favorites. But since baby kale is milder and less bitter than grown kale, I thought it best to complement it with sweet, mild root vegetables in a lighter soup. Fresh rosemary from the garden made it all the more earthy and comforting on this brisk Spring day.

If you don’t have kale on hand, you can use any other hardy greens. Chard is a good substitute, since like kale it maintains its textural integrity when cooked, instead of melting away like spinach would.

The beauty of this soup is its versatility – you can add any vegetables that you have on hand, it’s perfect for cool days of Spring and Autumn (and winter of course). The combination of bright veggies, white beans and dark greens means it’s ultra nutrient-rich. And since these vegetables are available all-year-round, it’s also budget friendly.

One of my favorite soup techniques is to puree a portion of the finished soup, then stir it back into the pot. It’s an easy way to thicken and add texture without adding butter or cream. Once the soup is prepared, just ladle about 1/3 of it into a food processor, mix until mostly smooth, and pour back in with the rest. It’s amazing what this small step does to make even a light brothy soup really hearty.

Enjoy! And check back next time for some exciting design changes around these parts…

MIXED VEGETABLE AND BABY KALE SOUP

Provisions:
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small-medium carrots, cut lengthwise in quarters then diced
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 can (400g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 heaping cups whole baby kale leaves (or full-grown kale, stalks removed, sliced in half)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
Method:
Heat the olive oil over medium-high in a large pot. Add the onions and celery, and saute 3 minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes until fragrant and soft. 
Add the diced carrots, sweet potatoes and rosemary, and toss with the onion mixture to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3  minutes until the vegetables soften slightly. Add the whites beans, then the chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
Ladel 1/3 of the soup into a food processor, and blend until mostly smooth (maintaining a bit of texture is better than a total puree). Spoon the blended soup back into the pot, and return to a simmer for 5 minutes until hot. 
Serve with a seedy multigrain bread, buttered, toasted and cut into soldiers for dipping.

Audio pairing: Dixie Yure, “Tresor, You Knows What?”

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21 Comments

  • Reply Nikkigee 07/03/2013 at 11:47 am

    Am I missing something, or when do you add the baby kale?

  • Reply Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad & Mixed Veg 16/10/2011 at 7:42 am

    I have never had kale before. Can you purchase it at the supermarket? I’ll look out for it at the markets:)

  • Reply Cassandra @foodmyfriend 13/10/2011 at 12:59 am

    I’m getting a few soups in before the weather gets too warm and I am unable to consume any liquid other than ice cold beer. Yummy recipe!

  • Reply Ashley 03/10/2011 at 10:26 pm

    Kale is one of those vegetables I’m not familiar with at all, but your soup just sounds so hearty and lovely! Lovely colours as well. 🙂

  • Reply Juliana 03/10/2011 at 8:28 pm

    Yasmeen, the soup looks delicious with all the veggies and baby kale…perfect for the cold weather that is approaching 🙂
    Hope you have a great week and thanks for this nice recipe!

  • Reply msihua 03/10/2011 at 11:18 am

    I’m so jealous of people who are able to grow their own veggies 🙁 I kill plants 🙁 Or really, the bloody possum kills my plants 🙁

  • Reply Janine Whitling 03/10/2011 at 4:45 am

    Looks DELISH! I’ll give it a go but i might throw some lamb into the mix for more body. Mmmmm.

  • Reply Jennifer (Delicieux) 03/10/2011 at 3:15 am

    Your soup looks fantastic and so healthy and satisfying. Even more satisfying that you were able to use vegetables you grew yourself 😀 I just adore soups.

  • Reply Torviewtoronto 02/10/2011 at 10:26 pm

    delicious healthy combination of vegetables in this soup looks wonderful

  • Reply Lauren aka Ms Baklover 02/10/2011 at 9:20 pm

    I had dinner with my friend the other night and she mentioned she had made chickpea and kale soup for her husband to feed to the kids. We laughed at this nefarious plan which would undoubtedly result in dinner time tantrums and perhaps a feeling of empathy from husband to her. Unfortunately the kids unexpectedly loved it so her plan half backfired, half had unexpected benefits! It’s inspired me to get cooking with kale and this looks like a lovely way to do it. The puree trick is ace.

  • Reply Wini 02/10/2011 at 7:14 pm

    This looks really yummy and perfect for this time of year!! thanks for sharing. I like the idea of pureeing 1/3 of the soup too. Wini

  • Reply Gerlinde in Dallas 02/10/2011 at 5:51 pm

    Your soup looks delicious! I love the simplicity of it.

  • Reply Sarah 02/10/2011 at 3:46 pm

    This looks delicious! I also like to puree part of the soup and add it back in, makes everything much thicker and more delicious 🙂

  • Reply Vicki Bensinger 02/10/2011 at 2:51 pm

    This looks like the perfect pot of soup for a fall day like today. I think I will whip up a batch. I’m glad I stopped by.

  • Reply Lady Grey 02/10/2011 at 2:12 pm

    What a beautiful, soulful soup. I love all the colours. Sounds perfect for this time of year.

    I love that you’re doing music pairings – so much fun!
    oxo

  • Reply Fatbooo 02/10/2011 at 11:50 am

    I’ve never bought or cooked with kale before. And that winter’s white bean italian sausage stew sounds really good!

    Quite a few great tips there, esp the puree-ing of part of the soup to help thicken things without adding cream.

  • Reply Hannah 02/10/2011 at 11:24 am

    Oh, you have kale? I can’t find it here! 🙁 This looks wonderful though, and perfect for the cooler weather!

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island 02/10/2011 at 11:14 am

    You hit me at the perfect moment with this soup—I’ve been going a little overboard at the farmer’s market with all the root vegetables. I have a fridge full, so this is where they’re going. I really like your idea of pureeing just a bit of the soup for more body. I’ll try that, thanks!

  • Reply Winston 02/10/2011 at 11:03 am

    Lovely food styling/photography! It’s so nice to be able to cook with fresh produce from your own garden. Great idea to have them with the soliders too, looks fantastic! =)

  • Reply Rosa's Yummy Yums 02/10/2011 at 10:36 am

    That soup looks wonderful! It must be great to be able to use your veggie. So satisfying.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Reply leaf (the indolent cook) 02/10/2011 at 10:06 am

    How I would love a little garden like yours. This soup must be extra satisfying with home-grown kale!

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