Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Soup and Mad Max

It's just started feeling like autumn here in Baltimore, which means it's officially soup season. We buy beautiful kale from the downtown farmer's market, but sometimes it doesn't get used up quickly enough. I also happened to have a bit of black-eyed peas in the freezer from a large-scale crock pot bean cooking/storing venture. A southern version of traditional Portuguese kale soup (it's almost like southern New Years in a bowl) hit the spot.

Kevin's been on a bread making kick, and he whipped up a really gorgeous baguette to go with dinner. I'd read this article on ways to add steam during bread baking and gave it a try by throwing a couple ice cubes on a heated baking dish. The results were delish. I think we ate more soup just so we could dip bread in it. Kevin also caught me eating disks of bread at the kitchen sink with olive oil drizzled on them. Needless to say, there was no leftover bread. Oh well.

We don't have TV, but sometimes we'll watch newscasts or the Daily Show during dinner. Tonight we had a treat: Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome. Cinema at its finest.

Anyways, here's the soup recipe. It's easy to make and you could definitely add any other veggies that suit your fancy.

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

1 medium sized onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 heaping tablespoons tomato paste

2 small potatoes, diced (or one if large)

1 quart vegetable broth, divided into halves

1 ½ cups black eyed peas (or one can. Cannellini or Garbanzo would be fine too.)

Thyme, to taste

Oregano, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Kale, de-veined and cut into bite-sized ribbons

  1. In a heavy soup pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions for 5 mins. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.

  2. Add tomato paste and salt, stirring to coat the onions.

  3. Add half of the veggie broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender.

  4. Using a slotted spoon, place most of the potatoes/onions in a blender with a little broth and blend until velvety.

  5. Replace blended potatoes in soup pot, add the rest of the broth and the peas/beans.

  6. Season to taste with salt, thyme and oregano (fresh or dried,) and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.

  7. Add kale and simmer, stirring occaisionally, until kale is tender.

  8. Add more broth or water if too thick.

Serves 4 as a meal or 6 as a side

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