From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com.Â
With two days off work this week, thereâ€™s ample time and way too much kale in the fridge waiting for your crockpot.Â
Winds got you down and cooped up inside? Use up those free afternoon hours by letting a soup simmer on the stovetop. This week I had tons of farmers market greens leftoverâ€”I guess nobody wanted to buy produce with the likelihood that Pepco would poop out.
Soups are a great way of utilizing extra veggies before they turn. If youâ€™re like me and often buy way too much but hate wastefulness, itâ€™s perfectly easy and equally healthy to blanche and freeze vegetables for later. Or, if you have time during a wintery day stuck inside, make a soup and freeze it for later. Soups keep and later thaw very wellâ€”even your dinner guests wonâ€™t know that you made it a month or two earlier and just reheated it before their arrivalâ€¦.
The other great thing about homemade soup is that you control the amount of sodium. Commonly well-known by most now, prepackaged and canned soups contain enough sodium to salt an icy street. Hyperbole aside, the broths and canned goods tend to upset my stomach, so when I make my soups, I actually use water and salt to my own liking for the liquid base and rinse any canned beans before incorporating. For a healthful, immune system boosting, green soup, give one of these a try.
Kale, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fall Soup
Serves you and a few friends depending on how much you eat
- Two minced cloves garlic
- One onion, diced
- Minced hot peppers, to your liking (no more than one tbsp.)
- 2 cups room temperature water (or vegetable broth if you prefer)
- Salt to taste
- One can black beans, rinsed
- 2 tbsp. EVOO
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- One bunch kale
- A few pinches of dried thyme and parsley
- In a large saucepan, heat the EVOO on medium high.
- SautĂ© garlic, sweet potato, herbs and hot peppers five minutes.
- Add onions and cook until translucent â€” about two minutes.Â Add black beans and water and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Allow the soup to simmer as long as you can be patient, or about 20 minutes, until sweet potato can be pierced with a fork.
- While waiting, chop kale into three-inch strips. Add in the kale and season as needed.
- Once the kale appears blanched, serve and enjoy!
Vegan Roasted Broccoli soup
Ingredients and Directions
- Preheat oven to 375Â° F.
- Chop two medium sized heads of Broccoli into large florets and stems into smaller pieces â€” because the stems are tougher, they cook at a slower rate than the florets and therefore should be cut to about half the size of the florets.Â Arrange on a baking sheet or in an oven safe pan.Â Add chopped onion if you like.
- Coat with two tablespoons EVOO, salt, pepper and two sliced cloves of garlic. Larger slices of garlic are okay since this soup will eventually be pureed.
- Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until tops are browned and stems can be pierced with a fork.
- Remove and let cool slightly before pureeing in batches in a blender with plus or minus one cup of warm water or blend in a Vitamix (if you have one, which I donâ€™t, you do not need to add water and your soup will likely be a smoother consistency. I like mine fairly chunky).
- This recipe can be adjusted with so many flavors â€”Â roast broccoli with 2 tsp. cumin or curry and puree with coconut milk in place of water for Asian flavors.
- Serve after reheating in a saucepan with some crusty bread (I like Atwaterâ€™s rosemary white or sunflower flax).