2011/07/30

Say What???? (Sweet Potato & Kale Soup)

The rain finally penetrated the infamous "heat dome" in our neck of the woods long enough to get into the kitchen.

So I ran into the kitchen as fast as my little legs could carry me to get something on the stove. 

One successful...

Sweet Potato & Kale Stew

 And one that needs a little more love...

Here is the apricot tempeh that went with the soup - needs more tweaking...
 I know that sweet potato & kale soup - while good - is nothing to write home about.  But.  But.  But.  I did have a breakthrough moment.  That both scared me.  And excited me... 


Prunes make vegetable stock taste good.  Deeper.  More vegetably.  At least stock of the root veggie kind.  Or mushrooms.  Maybe not so much asparagus, though.  It is a friend to kale though. 

And you may be thinking "where, O where did such an idea come from?"  To that I would reply "a trusted source". 

I was sitting at The Karate Kid's practice reading a cookbook (yes, I read cookbooks for fun) when I came to the narrative in one of the recipes in Ottolenghi's Plenty where he mentions the addition of prunes to vegetable stock.  It was weird.  I was intrigued. 


Now, I didn't make the "inspiration" soup from Plenty because once I saw the whole prune concept, I stopped reading and started metnally preparing recipe (although, I will need to go back and try it); but I can say that the addition of the prunes made for a deep, slightly sweet broth that kept me coming back for more.  Even thought it was 9:00 at night.  And we were just finally sitting down to dinner. 


Ah, and now I have something to eat that will carry me through to my old age :-)  I will surely be the "belle" of the nursing home with this one.


Sweet Potato & Kale soup - with Mushrooms
A Dabble by Cher, with a shot of inspiration from a comment in Ottolenghi's Plenty

2 Tbs olive oil
1 large vidalia onion, diced (1-1.5 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 small sweet potatoes, cubed to 1/2" chunks
1/2 cup dried mushrooms, reconstituted in 2 cups hot water + pinch salt
3 medium sized carrots, grated
8 prunes, chopped
4 cups kale, cut into bite sized pieces
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbs white peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper

Heat 2 Tbs olive oil inside a 5.5 Qt Dutch oven over medium heat (or other large, heavy bottomed pot).  Once oil has heated, add onion and garlic.  Saute over medium heat until starting to caramelize.  Add potato and continue to saute until potato begins to pick up color. 

Add mushrooms & their soaking liquid; then add grated carrots & prunes.  Add remaining stock (or water) and bring to a boil.  Add salt & peppers & fenugreek and simmer for 30-40 minutes over medium to medium-low heat.  During the last 3-5 minutes of cooking time, stir in kale & sumac. 

Your body will say thank you. 

8 comments:

  1. I would have never imagined putting prunes in soup. I understand that is deepens flavour, just like addition of a small amount of coffee to cookies. Will remember this one

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  2. Good tip on adding prunes to the stock. I'll have to try that next time!

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  3. Oooooh...I'm intrigued. Poor prunes are so neglected. I think they're delicious, but I sure don't know how to cook with them. I love this idea.

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  4. Well, the soup sounds fabulous. Yum!

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  5. The soup or stew looks grand, my dear Cher, it made me hungry just looking at your photos of it! As for adding the prunes from an offhand comment in a cookbook (admittedly, Ottolenghi), what pure genius! A tip we will all be following next time we want to make a hearty soup.

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  6. This sweet potato and kale soup sounds good. I have never tried putting this two ingredients together and after seeing yours, I know I would love to try this out soon :) Thanks for sharing such a great soup with us :) Have a nice day,
    Elin

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