Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kale for the cold

I'm not very familiar with kale, but I often hear or read of its nutritional value and I see bushels of it in the greens section at the market. I'm sure I've experienced some kale as a tacky garnish and have probably eaten some in a few nondescript meals. Since it is cheap, nutritious and I had never cooked with it before, I decided to buy some for a soup.

More ruffled in appearance than its flat leafed neighbor, the collard green, kale boasts a relatively high amount of calcium, fiber, vitamins, other minerals and yummy plant compounds. The cabbage family is quite versatile. I was reminded of an article that I once read in Eating Well magazine, which touted the slogan "All hail kale!"

So, the soup was quick, cheap and most importantly: warm for winter. I simply sweat out some diced onions and garlic in a little olive oil and salt. Next, the addition of some diced, left over, hot sopressata from Arthur Ave in NYC. I lowered the heat, deglazed the pot a bit with some chicken broth and added a bit of water as well. After rinsing the kale and roughly chopping it, I threw it in the mix. When chopping the kale, I took the time to remove some of the stems, especially the larger ones, as I suspected that they may contribute some unwanted bitterness. As the soup simmered and the kale quickly wilted, I seasoned with a bit more salt, pepper, and a bit of oregano.

Nothing fancy, but soup often tastes good in winter and I enjoyed getting rid of my left over cured meat. Try something with some kale yourself! We also enjoyed the soup with some home made popovers; not exactly crusty bread, but a out of the usual treat for us. I love the eggy flavor of a warm popover.

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