From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com.
With two days off work this week, there’s ample time and way too much kale in the fridge waiting for your crockpot.
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 leftover–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 you’re like me and often buy way too much but hate wastefulness, it’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 well–even your dinner guests won’t know that you made it a month or two earlier and just reheated it before their arrival….
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.
- Sauté garlic, sweet potato, herbs and hot peppers five minutes.
- Add onions and cook until translucent — about two minutes. 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 375° F.
- Chop two medium sized heads of Broccoli into large florets and stems into smaller pieces — 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. Arrange on a baking sheet or in an oven safe pan. 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 don’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 — 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 Atwater’s rosemary white or sunflower flax).