Creamy Green Soup

I sip soups in mugs because spoons don’t keep my hands warm.

 

My soup-in-mug habit all stemmed from my former tea addiction. I drank obscene amounts of tea every fall and winter to the point where my husband would come home from work and ask…

“How many cups of tea did you drink today?”

And I would fib and give a number that equaled about half of my actual tea consumption. Eventually, others started noticing with comments like…

“Didn’t you just drink a cup of tea?” or “Your having another one?”

So I am proud to say that my afternoon mugs are filled with hot-lemon water or pureed veggie soups,such as this warm and satisfying Creamy Green Soup. I love this as an unconventional afternoon snack or a more adventurous late-stage baby food, minus the salt and cream, of course.

Bread optional, but highly recommended.

Creamy Green Soup

4 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

About 4 medium-large baking potatoes, chopped into 1” cubes

1 bunch of leafy greens ( kale, chard, spinach, nettle, and dandelion greens work really well here)

2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 carrot

1 bay leaf

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Optional Garnish:

Organic Heavy Cream

Sprigs of thyme

Directions:

Saute leeks in olive oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute another minute. Add stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and carrot. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Add greens and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender or standard blender to puree the soup until smooth. Ladle soup in bowls and garnish with a splash of cream and thyme.

There will be Kale… And White Bean Hummus

White Bean Hummus and Kale Crostini

I am convinced kale is the best vegetable on earth.

And not just on a nutritional standpoint.

It’s the vegetable that never gives up.  All the other vegetable plants come and go, but kale just keeps on keepin’ on. Other veggies might give up through heavy storms, cold spells and gangs of toddlers with large rocks.

But not kale.

There will be kale.

SO for the days that you feel like giving up.

For the days that just never seem to end. Like when your car gets towed. Or you burn dinner for the third time in a row. Or your kid drops your neighbor’s mail down a sewer grate. Or all of the above happens in the same week.

There will be kale.

Because it never gives up.

Just like you.

White Bean Hummus & Sauteed Kale Crostini

This can be served as an appetizer or paired with a salad for a perfectly light vegetarian lunch. The tahini is left out here, and the lemon and garlic are amped up a bit. And if its that kind of day, don’t be too shy to pair it with a glass of something crisp, white and Italian.

Crostini:

Baguette, cut in 1-2 inch slices and gently toasted

(Optional: flavor the crostini with a drizzle of olive oil, or rub a cut tomato or garlic clove on the toasted slices to add some extra flavor)

White bean hummus:

3 cups cooked white beans

2-3 cloves of chopped garlic, to taste

1-2 lemons

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil, as needed

In a food processor or blender, puree the white beans, garlic and lemon. While the food processor is running, stream in some olive oil until you get a nice, smooth consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed Garlic Kale

1 bunch kale, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup of  stock, white wine or water

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet and add the garlic. After about a minute, add the kale and cook on medium heat. Add the liquid and cook until the greens become wilted and bright green. About 5-8 minutes.

Layer the hummus on the crostini and top with kale.