Friday, December 17, 2010

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Soup

This is one of my favourite recipes from Elsa at Simply Recipes. Especially because kale is so healthy for you, not to mention always inexpensive, and yet challenging to find ways to incorporate it into one's diet easily (and tastily). Something with the process of cooking the greens in the squash, tomato, onion, garlic and broth base really helps to extract the bitterness from the kale. And it smells up your apartment something delicious.

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Soup
from and ever-so-slightly adapted

1/2 lb of white beans, soaked overnight
1 tsp. baking soda
4 cups water

4 - 6 cloves of garlic
1 onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes (if there are no ripe tomatoes at the supermarket, definitely swap them for a can of whole tomatoes -- add them after roasting the vegetables, before pureeing)
1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1" pieces
3 carrots, chopped
Olive oil

4 - 6 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, rinsed and chopped into 1" pieces
1 bay leaf
2 - 3 sprigs fresh thyme

In a large pot, soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse, then cook beans with water and baking soda for about one hour.

Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, combine garlic, onions, tomatoes (if roasting; if using canned, add before puréeing), and half the chopped squash and carrots. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet. Toss the remaining squash and carrot in a teaspoon or two of olive oil and arrange next to the other vegetables on a baking sheet. (The reason for doing this is you'll purée the onion/garlic mixture but want to reserve some carrots and squash for the soup. It saves picking out pieces with tongs later on. Been there, done that.)

Roast the vegetables for about 45 minutes, checking halfway through to toss if necessary.

When vegetables have roasted, bring vegetable broth to a simmer on the stove (a good time to add canned tomatoes and their liquid, if using). Add the garlic/onion/carrot/squash mixture to the broth and simmer for a minute or two. Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the soup, or allow to cool for a minute or two and blend in a blender in small batches. Return to the pot and bring back to a simmer.

Add the kale, bay leaf and thyme, and bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Add the beans and their cooking liquid (there should not be much) and the carrot and squash. Cook for an additional few minutes and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

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