Ah, kale. When my sister and I first started bringing home bunches of kale to my mother, she was understandably perplexed. My grandmother’s Slovak cooking taught her at least fifty different ways to cook a head of cabbage, but kale was a new one. I remember how skeptical she was after she threw a handful of tough kale leaves into her salad and chewed, chewed, chewed…
She’s come a long way since then, and kale has become a staple ingredient in our family get-togethers. Last week, after we had been a little under the weather, she showed up at my door with a great big bowl of this kale vegetable soup. It was so good. Light, smooth, and healthy, it hit the spot. And I was already on the phone calling her to get the recipe before I had finished the last bite. I just had to make myself up a big batch.
This is her recipe for kale soup that I modified to make in the crockpot. You can easily make it without the crockpot over the stove if you prefer. Whenever given the choice, though, I always prefer the ease of the crockpot. This recipe is very forgiving as well. You can alter the amounts of vegetables and kale, and you can cook it longer (I almost always cook my soups overnight) or eat it after a few hours. Whatever you choose, it’s a delicious way to get your healthy greens in without sacrificing flavor.
Mother Blossom’s Kale Soup for the Crockpot
vegetarian * crockpot * 10-12 servings
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (more or less, I opt for more garlic)
- ¾ c chopped celery
- 1-2 chopped carrots
- salt and pepper
- dash of thyme (optional)
- 1 16-oz can petite diced tomatoes (or 1 ½ c skinned, chopped and seeded tomatoes with juices)
- 1 can white beans (e.g. Cannellini), drained (or 1 ½ c of cooked white beans)
- 12 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch curly green kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
Coat the bottom of the crockpot with oil. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, stir. Cover and cook on high for about a half hour. Alternately, you can sauté these over the stovetop and place in the crockpot to save time. Season with salt and pepper, and add a dash of thyme.
Add tomatoes (undrained), beans, and vegetable broth. Add kale and stir gently. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours up to 12 hours. This soup tastes even better the next day.
Nutritional Facts per serving:
Fat: 1.2 g
Sodium: 1272 mg
Potassium: 452 mg
Carbs: 18.4 g
Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 4.5 g
Iron: 11 %
Now that the weather is officially cold, and the layer of snow that fell last week is not budging from the ground, I find myself putting soup on menus more and more. What other meal is so warming to the soul on chilly days? And I’m thinking that since now I have a huge pot of this kale soup in my refrigerator, I might return my mother’s favor and bring her over a big hot bowl today!
~ Mellie ★