Cool With Kale

Kale is one of the only locally grown vegetables this time of year, and frankly, by February we're sick of it. But I'm here today to encourage you to rethink the curly green goodness. Don't think of it as cabbage - that will only evoke thoughts of bland, tasteless food of a bygone era. Instead, let's look at all the great things kale has to offer. And believe me, there are many!

  • It is an antioxidant powerhouse - not to mention full of anti-inflammatory AND anti-cancer nutrients too. This is mostly due to its high concentration of carotenoids and flavonoids (45 to be precise). Delicious noids.
  • It has a ton of fiber and omega-3s. Yes, omega 3s in a leafy green!
  • Kale packs twice as much vitamin K as its other leafy cousins. And what does that mean? Lots of anti-inflammatory goodness.
  • Other vitamins and minerals appear in abundance in kale: vitamins A, C, B6, as well as manganese, copper, calcium, tryptophan, and potassium. No wonder it's a superfood!

Now, I've mentioned before my infatuation with kale chips. Weirdly, I haven't put a recipe on the blog yet. That will come shortly as I have half a bag sitting in my fridge, waiting to be eaten! The other half went into this soup. It is sort of a kind of a twist on caldo verde, without the potatoes and chorizo. Instead, I've substituted some delicious vegetarian sausage (but feel free to use your favorite organic meat sausages). This is a meaty soup, bordering on a stew, so it really fills you up for dinner. I added a sprinkling of rawmesan at the end (you are more than welcome to grate in some real parmesan if you're not dairy-free like me) and that provided a real boost of flavor.

Spicy Tomato, Sausage & Kale Soup

Serves 4

The particulars:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 sausages (can be vegetarian/vegan), cooked and chopped into large chunks
  • handful of curly kale, torn into thin strips
  • grated parmesan or sprinkling of rawmesan to serve
  1. In a large pot, heat up some olive oil and cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic, celery, and red chili and saute for a further 2-3 minutes. Season well.
  2. Add the vegetable stock and chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and tomato paste and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  3. When almost ready to serve, stir through the chopped sausages and kale. Heat through and serve with the parmesan/rawmesan on top.