Kale for nonbelievers

No, this is not a tree. It's curly kale whose leaves have been harvested bottom up.

No, this is not a tree. It’s curly kale whose leaves have been harvested bottom up.

Did you miss National Kale Day on October 1? Me too. I can’t say I’m enamored of kale. Despite it being a cruciferous vegetable, most of which are highly associated with Czechs, Grandma and Mom didn’t grow it or serve it. I’m not sure they ever had it; not part of their religion.

My friends, Dianne and Mitch, love kale: kale smoothies for breakfast, kale salads for lunch, and sautéed kale for supper when their kale crops are abundant. That’s when I receive kale whether I want it or not. So I’ve learned to love one kale recipe, and I am sharing it with you, in case you have equally generous or even zealous friends.

Mitch grows their kale in raised beds. That’s really convenient, especially when I’m asked to harvest kale when they are gone. They grow the straight kind and the curly kind. I leave the straight kind for other harvesters. I prefer the curly kale.

IMG_4532croppedPick or cut the leaves from the bottom of the plant up. The stems are really tough so I start by folding the washed leaves along the stem line and cutting it out. Maybe the smoothie making machine can pulverize the stems; I don’t know. But my soup only calls for stemless curly kale. It is amazing how much kale cooks down, so you need a lot. I’d say a full colander of cut stemless curly kale.

IMG_4536Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, caramelize a coarsely diced onion in olive oil. Yes, I know – you’re not supposed to cook with olive oil. Tough; I do. Then add a cup or so of vegetable or chicken broth to the sizzling onion, and quickly add the colander of cut, stemless, curly kale and cover it so that it steams in the broth. Don’t worry if it fills the pot; the kale will cook down. As it cooks, add about a tablespoon of minced garlic. The later you add it, the more garlic-y it will taste.

IMG_4538When it’s cooked (when it doesn’t reduce in volume anymore), add the rest of the broth, about 1½ cups of cut-up cooked chicken, a can of great northern beans (I’m partial to Natural Directions organic beans), canned or fresh mushrooms, and pepper. Once you have tried it, you can experiment by putting in anything else in the frig that has to go, like veggies (bok choy and carrots are especially nice) or even carbs like rice or pasta from the night before. We call them “must-goes.” I usually do not need to add salt because the broth is salty enough. If you want to make this vegetarian, use the veggie broth and omit the chicken.

IMG_4539The soup is actually very pretty and tasty. So for you non-believers out there, give this recipe a try. You can start out with much less kale and sneak up on the recipe. Or substitute some leafy spinach for part of the kale; just don’t tell your zealous friends.

Have faith. Even you might turn out to like kale.

Kale Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Diane Scheurell

I'm a writer and author. Check out my book, Manifesting Paradise on Amazon, and my blog, ManifestingParadise.com. I talk about Hawaii and the transformation tools I used to achieve my dreams.
This entry was posted in eating right, friends, German and Czech heritage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kale for nonbelievers

  1. Tafahi says:

    Great article and recipe.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Malia True says:

    Mahalo Diane. This looks like an easy. tasty and healthy recipe. It will give me a break from my collards which I am burning out on though they are delicious. I bought a 4 pack for $1.59 two years ago, but only two survived… thank goodness. Because I have had all the collards I can eat for the last two years. Time for a little Kale. You have to love the prolific abundance of Hawaii…

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