November 15, 2012 by Meg G.
Last Saturday we road-tripped to the Brimfield Farmer’s Market, since the Worcester market is on hiatus. The irony of driving 20 miles for local produce is not lost on us, but we never said we were perfect! Armed with lots of leafy greens, we got to work on some homemade veggie stock, a potato kale soup, and a side of Brussels sprouts.
We actually used some leftover whey from my homemade ricotta for this week’s soup, but homemade veggie stock freezes well and is great to have on hand, especially during these soup-making months. I used Alana Chernilla’s Homemade Pantry as a guide, but it’s pretty much the easiest “recipe” ever. This batch included celery stalks, leeks, onion, some kale stems, a few lingering baby carrots, and some bay leaves. Simply cover with water and let cook, covered, on low for about 2 hours. Strain the veggies and then compost them, if possible. Salt now or wait until you use it.
Creamy Potato Kale Soup – from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 2/3 cup finely chopped leeks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- 4 cups stock (or whey!)
- 4 cups coarsely chopped potatoes
- 1/4 tsp ground fennel (we opted out)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 Tbs white wine
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs minced scallions
- 1 1/2 Tbs minced fresh basil
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk (can be omitted or substituted for a non-dairy milk)
- 4 cups loosely packed shredded kale
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
- In a large soup pot, sauté the onions, leeks, and salt in the oil on very low heat for about 7 minutes, until tender.
- Add the stock (or whey) and bring to a boil.
- Add the potatoes, fennel, celery, wine, and dill and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- In a blender or food processor, or using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth.
- Return soup to the pot and stir in the mustard, scallions, basil, and evaporated milk.
- In a separate pot, gently boil the kale in just enough water to cover. When the kale is just tender, drain it and stir it into the soup.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice, if using. Warm the soup until it is hot, but not boiling.
We decided to add the kale earlier and purée it with the rest of the soup, giving it a very green color throughout!
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 3 Tbs butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup or more vegetable stock, white wine, or water as needed
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Since we only had about 4 oz of sprouts, Heather did a little division and came up with the best ratios for our small batch. We used white wine.
- Combine the sprouts, oil, and liquid in a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, sprinkle with S+P, and bring to a boil.
- Cover and adjust the heat to a simmer; cook until the sprouts are tender, about 5-10 minutes, checking once or twice and adding more liquid if needed.
- Uncover and raise the heat to boil off all the liquid so the sprouts become glazed and eventually browned. Resist the urge to stir them frequently! Let them sizzle until golden and crisp, then shake the pan to loosen them to roll over. It’s okay if not all the sides are evenly cooked.
This was a truly yummy dinner! The soup was creamy, flavorful, and full of good, healthy ingredients. The sprouts had a really rich flavor due to the braising-and-glazing technique. I topped mine with just a bit of balsamic vinegar, but they are just as delicious as-is.