Friday, January 11, 2013

Cate's Kale Soup

Winter time is upon us and friends are dropping like flies with colds and the dreaded flu.  There are lots of good articles online about how to boost your immune system and prevent getting ill.  Two of my favorite ways to boost the immune system are eating healthy and getting lots of fresh air.  Fortunately on the Mendocino Coast, our winters are mild enough that we can venture outdoors on various adventures, and we have good quality food readily available in the winter in our own winter gardens, farmers markets, grocery stores, in the forest and in the sea. 

My kale soup recipe combines healthy foods as well as a way to get outside for some fresh air.  You won't find specific amounts in most of my recipes as I just throw things together in the proportions that I have available or am in the mood for.  Here's my Kale Soup Recipe.  Please let me know if you like it or have suggestions.

Cate's Kale Soup
Skinless/Boneless Chicken Thighs (optional)
Canned Tomatoes
Hedgehog Mushrooms - hydnum repandum (optional)
Seasonings - aleppo pepper, chili powder, black pepper (my preference)
Olive Oil
Butter (optional)

GET OUTSIDE!!! - gather the ingredients - For us involves a journey out into the forest to pick mushrooms and a little gardening work in the backyard to weed the garden and pick the kale.  No garden/local mushroom patches?  Go for a walk outside!  Perhaps walk to the grocery store.

Mushrooms - Hedgehogs are my favorite mushroom for the soup.  I like the consistency and flavor of them in the soup.  I would think that chanterelles would be good as well.  If you don't know wild mushrooms, you experiment with various store bought mushrooms and let me know what works well.  If picking wild mushrooms, please be 110% certain of your identification.  When in doubt, throw it out!!!

Make the Soup
Boil the chicken thighs and keep the broth for the base of the soup.  If you are not using chicken, use a base or broth that you prefer.

Cook on low - broth, canned tomatoes, garlic cloves, and carrots.

Sautee onions in a little butter or olive oil and add to soup.

Dry sautee hedgehog mushrooms in butter (you may substitute oil).  Cook moisture out of the mushrooms. Then add them to the soup.

Wash kale, separate it from its fibrous stalk, massage it with a touch of olive oil.  Add it to the soup.

Add seasonings to soup.

Bring the soup to a boil then cook on reduced heat for 5-10 minutes.

Options - you can make the soup as brothy as you like.  You might also try making it with sausage instead of chicken.  Experiment and ENJOY this healthy, immune building soup!!!

Please share any thoughts or suggestions.

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