Soul Food

When I first married my husband 35 years ago, I was not a skilled cook. Let’s say I was a good re-heater. If it could be frozen and then heated up – I could do it.

Over the years, out of self-preservation and also to give me something to do while spending a great deal of time at home doing the wife-and-mother thing, I learned to cook.  Since my husband is from Europe, I needed to learn to cook his favorite food, soup.

I love my homemade soup. I can’t stand soup from a can. But now it’s kind of problematic cooking a whole pot of soup as DS won’t eat a lot of the soups I make. So I’d better get some freezer containers or scale the recipes way back.

My first favorite soup – which DS wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole – is my vegetarian version of portuguese kale soup. I looked all over for a suitable picture of what my soup looks like. You’ll just have to trust me on this – and I’ll take a picture as soon as I make it again.

Here’s what kale looks like –



Unless you’ve been hiding on Mars or live under a rock without TV or an internet connection (I could almost live without the former) you know that kale is a superfood. The problem with this vegetable, like many others, you have to know what to do with it before it’s super! I mean if nobody will eat it – what good does it do? I refuse to eat kale chips. No.  I will except DS from this because he’s a lost cause with soups with tomatoes and/or beans in them. And this has both.

Here’s what you need for a large stockpot full of soup –

3 Tb olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 medium potatoes, russet is good, chopped

2 large carrots, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin (more if you like it – I love it so sometimes I use a tablespoon)

2 Tb chili powder

With the above ingredients, brown the chopped onions, potatoes and carrots in the olive oil until the onions are translucent and the carrots and potatoes are beginning to brown a little. You may need to add a tad bit more oil at this point. Place the minced garlic on top of the onion/carrot mixture and stand by the pot. Stir the garlic until it turns fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown. Once the garlic is ready, add the cumin and chili powder and let them cook while you stir. These are spices that like to be cooked! The richness comes out with the heat.

Next add 2 32 oz cartons of vegetable broth, 2 cans of black beans (I don’t drain them) and two 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes. Let this mixture come to a boil – you have work to do!

Take 1 bunch kale and remove the tough stems. This is easier than it looks. Just hold onto the stem and rip the fluffy kale leaves downwards on each side. Once this is done, chop the kale into small pieces. I just put this into the soup pot and stir it down. Let the soup come to a boil again and lower to a simmer. It should be ready in about 30 minutes. I don’t cover the pot.

A nice addition if you like things spicy? Add a little red pepper flakes or some chili paste.  This soup is TRUE food. And this pot should feed 8 hungry people, four hungry people twice ———– etc. It’s fantastic with a homemade focaccia!

Now I’m terribly hungry. 😦 I’m going to have to go find something to eat ……………….




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer says:

    It tastes good too – if it’s in something! Glad you like the recipe.


  2. marlajayne says:

    This is the perfect recipe for me today! I joined a food co-op a few weeks ago, and kale has twice been in the box. And you’re right about it not being a super food if no one will eat it. Maybe now that will change in my house.


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