Kale: Amazingly Delicious Super Nutritious Soup

Super food.  Highly nutritious.  Rich in Vitamins.

These are just some of the praises this vegetable receives from nutrition experts and health foodies.

And they are all correct.

At the outset.  You look at this vegetable, and you see green leaves that are rough and rugged.  And they look dry too.  And you wonder… how can this possibly be good for me?  Let alone taste good?

I have ignored kale for so long.  Until about two years ago when my son, Ramon, was looking for vegetables he could eat and alternative ways of cooking them.  We decided on trying kale – roasted.  Roasted with olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and ground black pepper.  The result was crunchy and delicious.  I could eat them for snacks.  No kidding.  It was that good. Though, I’d had to be careful.  They burn easy if left too long in the oven.

Anyway…

Other than roasting the kale, I’ve not tried cooking it in soups.

I thought to myself… OK… kale is good roasted.  But how would it taste cooked in soup?  Can it even taste good in soup?

Skeptic.  Always.  I think I was born skeptic.  It takes awhile for me to come around and believe on something.  I have to see it to believe it.  And when it comes to food, I have to taste it and stomp down my skepticism.

I am one of those people…

You almost have to force me.  Or force something on me.  Shove it down my throat before I believe you.  And when I like it… I won’t stop having it.  Have it until I have so much of it.  Until I get sick of it.  And won’t have it again for a very long time.

I seem to live my life this way.

As for this kale soup.  I am on it’s beginning stage.  I can probably eat kale soup for the next six months.  Maybe longer.  Before I get tired of it.

Few days ago I want to make kale soup again so I went to the supermarket.  But they didn’t have it.

THEY DIDN’T HAVE IT!

I asked the produce guy…

“Excuse me! I am looking for kale.  They’re usually in this area, but I don’t see it.  Do you have any inside…?”

“No ma’am.  We received a shipment today, but they weren’t good.  Sort of moldy.  So we didn’t put it out…”

“Hmmm. OK… thanks!”

I can’t believe they didn’t have kale!

I’ll  have to go back today to see if they have it…

Kale.  They surely don’t look pretty.  And it is almost shocking how good they are in soups.

You need two or three bunches.  I used two bunches on my first try.  But they shrink once they’re cooked.  So I am going to use three bunches next time.

Wash them under cold running water to remove dirt and sand.  Tear leaves from the stems.  Discard stems.  Leaves should be torn into small chunks.

Once washed.  Shake off excess water and tear the leaves into chunks like these.  Place in a colander.

You need salt pork.  Or one pound of pancetta or thick sliced of bacon.

I always like to wash the salt pork under warm running water.  And pat dry with paper towel before slicing.

Thinly sliced.

Two large potatoes.

Peeled.  Washed and diced.

Large onion.

Peeled, chopped and diced.

I LOVE red onions.  It has more character than yellow. So pretty!

Garlic cloves

Peeled and chopped. (Sorry… this pic seems a little blurred.)

In all my recipes… I always say – smash, peeled and chopped.  That’s because it is so much easier to peel garlic cloves once they’re smashed or cracked.  The skins peel right off.

In the Philippines, when I was there.  People used garlic without peeling them.  I always wonder about that.  But the garlic cloves were so tiny that maybe that’s why people didn’t peel them.  It was simply troublesome to peel them.

I don’t know… maybe they’ve managed to grow fat garlic by now.  I don’t know.

3 cans of chicken broth or stock  – about 4 cups total. And 4 cups filtered water.

Heat a large, deep pot and add the sliced salt pork.

Cook over medium heat until until pork has rendered most of its fat.

I love salt pork.  Their beautiful! And tasty.

Remove the salt pork with a slotted spoon.  Set aside.

Also remove most of the rendered fat, but retain at least 3 tablespoons in the pot.

Saute onions and garlic in the pot.  Until onions are translucent.

Add the potatoes and saute for several minutes.

Add the cans of chicken broth or 4 cups chicken stock.  And 4 cups filtered water.

Cover pot and bring soup to a boil.

Once boiling.  Skim off the foam that rises to the top.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add the kale.

Stir and simmer until kale is tender.  About 20 minutes.

Season with 2  teaspoons coarse sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Cooked and ready to serve.

Taste to see if additional salt and black pepper is needed.

And yes.  This pot of soup doesn’t look inviting.  It looks plain and ordinary.

But you know… somethings are good – plain and ordinary.

You’re just gonna have to take my word on this.  And try this soup for yourself…

And remember this…?

This salt pork is what makes this soup taste extra ordinary!

Topping a bowl of kale soup with several pieces of cooked salt pork, cooked pancetta, or thick slices of crispy bacon is mandatory.

Here’s the recipe:

Super Kalecious Soup

Serve 4 – 6 people

2 – 3 bunches kale – washed; leaves strip from stems and torn into chunks

12 ounces salt pork – rinsed under warm running water and thinly sliced

2 large potatoes – peeled and chopped

1 large red or yellow onion – peeled and chopped

4 large cloves garlic – smashed, peeled and chopped

3 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth or 4 cups chicken stock

4 cups filtered water

2 ½ tsps. coarse celtic sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Wash kale under cold running water to remove dirt and sand.  Tear leaves from the stems.  Discard stems.  Leaves should be torn into small chunks.

Heat a large, deep pot and add the sliced salt pork.

Stir and cook salt pork over medium heat until until pork has rendered most of its fat.

Remove the salt pork with a slotted spoon into a dish and set aside.

Also remove most of the rendered fat, but retain at least 3 tablespoons in the pot.

Sauté onions and garlic in the salt pork fat.  Until onions are translucent.

Add the potatoes and saute for several minutes.

Add the cans of chicken broth or 4 cups chicken stock.  And 4 cups filtered water.

Cover pot and bring soup to a boil over medium heat.  Once boiling.  Skim off the foam that rises to the top.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add the kale.  Stir and simmer until kale is tender.  About 20 minutes.

Season with 2½ teaspoons coarse sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Scope about 1½ cups of kale soup into a serving bowl.  Top each bowl with several pieces of salt pork.

Serve piping hot with good crusty bread.

Tess’ Kitchen Secrets:

#1 – Salt pork.  Topping each bowl of kale soup with several pieces of thinly sliced, cooked salt pork is mandatory.  It completes the soup.

#2 – Chicken broth is the very foundation of this soup.  If you have time to make homemade chicken stock, the better.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Tess Harris

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4 thoughts on “Kale: Amazingly Delicious Super Nutritious Soup

  1. Pingback: Play “Catch Up” With Me « AmerAsian Home Cooking

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  3. I LUV soups…could eat them 24/7 & the heartier the better. I never get sick of them. My mom always used some kale in her soups & I liked it but I have never used it in my soups. I don’t know why but I think its time to bring back the kale 🙂 That roasted kale sounds awesome & very healthy. You are so much like me…..yeppers be scared. Whenever I find a recipe I like I make it all the time till I’m sooooooo sick of it. I’m trying to change that cause there really isn’t any reason for it. I have so many amazing recipes that there is NO need to stick to just one till your at the point where you can’t even look at it again 😦

    Your soup looks gr8 & I can’t wait to try it. The best thing about soups is you can freeze them to but I never get to that point cause I usually finish off a pot in no time. You know I’ll be giving you my reviews once I try it.

    Have an awesome weekend with the family Tess……hugggers 🙂

    • Thanks Mario!

      For me it’s a habit. Really. More like my personality. I can’t help it… My son is the same way.

      It’s good to know… that we’re alike. 🙂

      I hope you enjoyed your weekend at your house…

      Hugs!

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