Well, Fall is here and I am way behind on updating. Life has gotten crazy with work, yoga, a more rigorous running routine, and an increased social life. I am still cooking but sometimes it is more haphazard than usual, and I haven’t had the time to upload any photos.

A good friend sent me a picture and a recipe today, nudging me to update and kickstarting my love for Fall cooking. Although I am sad that Summer is over, I am ready to get back into the swing of things with warm soups and stews, yummy quick breads, and lots of squash and apples.

Speaking of soups and stews, here is a recipe my friend Nichole sent me. I’ll be using it within the next few weeks, I’m sure.

Kale and Vegetable Soup
from retro cookbook Vegetarian Pleasures

1 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
10 cups vegetable stock
1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes with their juice
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
liberal seasoning freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh kale (total weight with stems)
3 medium size potatos, unpeeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter

Step one involves cleaning, and soaking beans if dried.  You can use canned beans if you prefer, but make sure they are rinsed and drained.

In a large stockpot,  heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, and bay leaves, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and kidney beans and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook for 45 minutes,  stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile,  clean kale and discard of stems and ribs, if you choose. Add kale and potatoes to soup and cook additional 30 minutes or until beans and potatoes are tender.  If soup is too thick add additional stock.

Remove bay leaves and discard.  To give the soup a wonderful creamy consitency remove about 1 cups of it and puree it in the blender, return it to the pot.

Before serving add the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir to melt.

Nichole’s variations:

I only had 1 and half onion, and substituted white kidney (canellini) beans for red kidney beans.  I also substituted  squash for tomatoes, because I’m not a fan of those.  Mine came out pretty salty and that could be because my stock is buillon cubes and water.  So I’d adjust by easing up on the salt it requires.  I didn’t add the butter.  But I think it tastes great and i’m really happy with it!!!!!  yay!

Vegetable and Kale Soup

Vegetable and Kale Soup

I actually made something similar to this a few weeks ago at Stu’s house. We were cooking for his parents and wanted something hearty and healthy on a chilly early Fall day. I found a recipe from Epicurious.com that had kale as well as potatoes and chorizo! Mmm. It was great and I would definitely make it again- but I’ll have to try this veggie version first!
Potato Soup with Kale and Chorizo