Eat Local: Soup’s On

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There are signs of Spring everywhere. In my garden the snowdrops have bloomed, and yesterday I noticed my crocuses have joined the party. This weekend we set our clocks forward as we spring into longer and lighter days. It’s almost time to shrug off winter, however it’s still cold, despite the sunshine. I even tried to wear shoes that weren’t boots the day before yesterday, that was a bad idea. My feet were like two ice blocks for the rest of the day. So, at my house soup’s still where it’s at. I find on busy evenings between taking kids to soccer practice, gymnastics, basketball and karate, a bowl of warm soup with some fresh baked bread checks off all the nutritional boxes – vegetables – check, carbs – check, protein – check!

Here’s a soup that I’ve adapted from Fine Cooking that I particularly like this time of year. It combines pantry staples like tinned tomatoes and chickpeas into a warm, hearty meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 small bunch kale (61/2 oz.), ribs removed, leaves torn into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups), rinsed and well dried
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for serving
Fine sea salt
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 handful cilantro stems, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely diced
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups mild vegetable or chicken broth (choose low sodium if you can!)
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
  • In a large bowl, toss the kale with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Spread the kale on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp but still green, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cilantro, carrot, and a pinch of salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes with their juice, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute.  Add the vegetable or chicken stock, and 1 tsp. salt to the pot. Partially cover and simmer gently until flavorful, about 20 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed.
  • Purée the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, top each with some of the kale, drizzle with a little oil, and serve.

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