Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hail to Kale Soup

If the first thing you do at work is go to The New York Times' online Health Section too, then you and I both know that kale is the new "It" vegetable. Shari Hern writes: "And yes, a vegetable can be amazing. Particularly when it's loaded with substances that can help protect one from cancer, cataracts, emphysema, and rheumatoid arthritis."

Hey Austin Brey, can your Trader Joe's frozen pizza do that? No. For more on the superiority of soup over Trader Joe's frozen pizza, please check back next week.

Anyway. If you love something you are going to fight for it and that's exactly what Alayna and I did.

First Soup Fight
Alayna: when are you posting it???
ML: soon I just got back from Jackson Heights.
Alayna: you're doing kale first, right?
ML: nah, I'm doing last night's
Alayna: but the kale is so wintery!
ML: nope, next week
Alayna: please?
Alayna: please, please, please
ML: nope. unless you want to write the blog

Alayna's First Blog Post

As you may have noticed, I have a mild obsession with soup. Actually, I wouldn't even say obsession with soup (although this blog makes it appear otherwise)... mostly I have an obsession with being secretly lazy.

Secret laziness means this: having home-cooked meals, but not having to cook (okay, really do the dishes) every night. Having nutritious food but only having to use one dish to eat it. Either way, I make so much soup because it's easy to make a huge quantity at once, it stores well, and you can put all kinds of good-for-you stuff into it.

Which brings us to kale. Mary and I only recently discovered kale because she read some article about how essentially it's mega-powered spinach. Fiber, iron, vitamins, whatever. It's all there. We like spinach, so kale seems like a good idea.

So far our relationship with kale has gone well. It's tougher than spinach, which means it holds up to cooking without becoming mushy if you walk away for a minute. It's also really good sauteed with fresh ginger, garlic and rock salt. And delicious in this soup. Other things delicious in this soup? Barley (fiber!), potatoes (vitamin C!) and mushrooms (the porcinis give that great earthy taste and the baby bella's keep the texture interesting.)

Wow Alayna, what an educational blog post.

And Now, Please Help Us Welcome Our New Friend, Kale

And welcome KZimm's first appearance on Monday's Soups.

Before you head to work put 3/4 cups of dried barley into cold water to soak for the day
When you get home, microwave 2 cups of water for 3 minutes
Then poor onto 1/2 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms
Let them sit for 30 minutes and put on sweatpants

Chop up about a handful and a half of baby red potatoes into bite sized pieces and boil in a separate pot.
Take off heat once they are mostly soft.
Saute about 5 cloves of garlic and 1 medium yellow onion in olive oil until translucent
Add 3/4 of a packet of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
(which are the same as cremini!)
and a handful of sliced shitake mushrooms to the mix and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are getting soft and everything is fragrant

Add in soaked barley, reconstituted mushrooms (with the soaking liquid!),
chicken broth,
a handful of parsley, rosemary and thyme
and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste
Clean and de-stem a bunch of kale and add it into the pot with the potatoes for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.

P.S. This soup was strongly inspired by a New York Times recipe. Thank you New York Times.


  1. I like how Kate's job is to hold the wine.

  2. ha. i like how kate appears to be pouring the wine directly into the soup.

    you know why? FEWER DISHES