Slaad Soup

In the middle of the colder months, it can be nice to get some compilation of vegetable ingredients together, but too often they can come loaded with potatoes, rice, and other bulk imbuing starches.  This aims to be something more salad-like in nature while also being warm and comforting against any chill in the air … or under foot.

Spinach and Kale Soup (aka Slaad Soup)

Ingredients:

Cashew Cream

  • ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours up to overnight
  • 1 cup water (not for soaking)

Soup

  • 2-3T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1T Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ – ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2T apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 green onion stalks, sliced thinly
    • and/or replace with bell peppers
  • 3-4T sesame seeds
  • 1C chopped mushrooms

Instructions:

  1. To prepare Cashew Cream: Drain and rinse cashews a couple times. Pour into a blender along with water and blend, scraping the sides as needed, until totally smooth. Set aside.
  2. To prepare Soup: Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
  3. Stir in spinach, kale, carrots, and garlic. Season with Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes more or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Pour in vegetable broth, and mushrooms, and stir to combine; if adding bell peppers, add now. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until greens are wilted and carrots are tender.
  5. Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice, vinegar, and cashew cream. Soup can be served as is or blended using a food processor or blender for a richer, creamier soup.
  6. Garnish soup with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Kale Chips … of FIRE

Lately we have been drowning in a see a greenery which has resulted in … yep … salads.  An adventure in a salad is a lot like a 15th level Paladin walking in on a room of 1st level skeletons.  For the uninitiated — none whatsoever.  However, there is sometimes a rare jewel that makes things interesting.  A bauble that drops from nowhere and suddenly the mundane turns interesting.  And so it is with kale chips of fire.

Typically I find kale unappealing.  I’ve used it before.  I’ve made soups with it.  I’ve sauteed it.  I’ve otherwise abused it into a form I would eat and hopefully digest.  But this recipe makes all the difference in the world.

Preheat an oven to 350F.  While it warms, remove the kale leaves from the stems and shred them into something resembling the size of your favorite chips.  Reckon an amount that would cover a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and reserve the rest for another time.  In a large bowl, toss the kale you plan to use with a light coating of olive oil, a dash of salt, perhaps a little pepper, and red pepper flakes (quantity of your choosing…).  Spread on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place in oven.  Bake for 10-20 minutes and keep an eye on them.  The goal is to bake them until most of them turn brown.

Let them cool a bit and enjoy.

When I first made this, I got a little eager with the red pepper.  As a result, I conjured a fire elemental to wander about the chips for awhile… and then in my glowingly warm belly.  They were kicky, but they were good.  And I vanquished them.