Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cold January, Warm Soup

by Lucy Arlington

Happy New Year, everyone! Can you believe we’re here already? I am astonished at how quickly the time seems to pass and can’t believe that it’s 2013, much less January first! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and that your new year is filled with happiness, productivity, and peace.

If you’re like me, you indulged just a little too much over the holidays, and are now in the mood for light, healthy comfort food, especially on a cold winter day. Even in Bermuda January can be chilly and, to me, nothing evokes warm comfort more than soup. I tend to make up soup recipes as I go, depending on what I have in the fridge. This kale soup is one that I’ve repeated a few times, though, because it’s so delicious and hearty and healthy to boot! Isn’t kale the new superfood?

When I make this, my handheld blender is a godsend. If you don’t have one, a regular blender or a food processor will do. Be sure to let the soup cool down somewhat before blending so you don’t burn yourself.

The beauty of this soup is that you can vary it any way you like. Take the choice of stock, for instance. If you want a heartier flavor, use a beef stock. For a lighter taste use chicken stock. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, use vegetable stock. I use brown rice for the thickener, but you can use plain white rice or potatoes too, as long as they're cooked soft enough to blend. 

I serve the soup with a dollop of plain yogurt (you can use sour cream if you’re in the mood for decadence) and croutons. Yummy!


1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup brown rice
6 cups of stock 
Salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into a large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer until the kale and onion are cooked soft and the rice is overcooked, about 40 minutes or more. Let cool a bit, then blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Do you love soup on a cold day?


grammajudyb said...

I love soup on a cold day. Last night I made ham and potato soup and we stay in for New Year's eve. A little wine and a warm soup,what could be better.
I want to get brave and try Kale soup this winter. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

grammajudyb said...

I really should learn to preview my comments *stayed*

Unknown said...

I do. I sometimes select a soup that requires the use of my immersion blender. Is the rice raw and becomes a thickener? How overlooked should it be?

Anonymous said...

grammajudyb, definitely be brave and try the kale soup. And I agree, not much is better than wine and a warm soup!

Anonymous said...

Debra, the rice is raw when I put it in the pot and it cooks with everything else until it's pretty mushy. When you blend the soup, the rice purees with everything else and thickens the soup. Good luck, and enjoy!

Aurian said...

I love soup on any day, I just have no clue what a Kale is.

Anonymous said...

Aurian, kale is a green leafy vegetable from the cabbage family, and is stuffed with nutrients. It's become very popular, so I bet you could find it at your supermarket. If you want to know more about it, check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale

Aurian said...

Wow, that is "boerenkool" or translated farmerscabbage. It is a winter vegetable here in Holland, and tastes better when it has been frozen on the land first. It is almost exclusively used in "stamppot" (hotchpot? according to google translate). You cook potatoes, you cook the kale, you bake small squares of bacon, and you "stamp" (pestle?) it all together when it is done. Add some smoked sausage, and you have the ultimate dutch winter dish.
Lol Wikipedia knows it all: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamppot

And to use that in a soup, wow. That sure is a novel thought for me. Can't really imagine the taste though.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Aurian, you have brought back memories. I am Dutch and my mother often made stamppot. I didn't know kale was boerenkool until I read that on Wikipedia. (We also had stamppot made with carrots and onions, and sauerkraut (zuurkool).

Aurian said...

The one with carrots and onions should be served with the type of beef that has to simmer for 5 hours or so, and is called hutspot. One of my favourites. In summer we often eat raw endive stamppot. Just cook the potatoes and the bacon, but slice the endive really thin and "stamp" it all together.