Kale Soup

Back in November my brother-in-law came to visit. We went grocery shopping to pick up some items for football watching and dinner making. Upon their departure we were left with a bunch of kale; a large quantity not a single bunch.

So I made kale chips.

And soup.

And still there was a little bit left to freeze and “sneak” into Firecracker’s smoothies.

So. Much. Kale!

Not that that’s a bad thing. I buy kale hardly ever, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve purchased said green. I have nothing against kale, but I guess I never jumped on the bandwagon a couple of years ago.

This soup though, I can get on board with. But only if there’s bacon with it. Before heating up some leftovers I had to fry a piece of bacon to provide that bit of crunch and salt.

Kale Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 leek, sliced in half-moons
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • sour cream for serving (optional)

Steps:

  1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Add the potatoes and leeks to the pot and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, S+P and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and 4 C of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.
  3. Reserve a little bit of the kale to make kale chips for garnishing the soup. Add the remaining kale to the soup, cover the pot, and cook 5 minutes until the kale is wilted. Stir in the Worcestershire.
  4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. (Note: If using a stand blender you may need to puree the soup in batches. Leave the lid slightly open and cover with a towel to prevent burns.)
  5. Put the reserved kale on a baking sheet, spray with cooking oil, season with S+P and broil until crispy.
  6. Garnish the soup with kale chips, bacon, and sour cream.

*This recipe is adapted from Food Network Magazine, January/February 2015*

Kale Soup | Sew You Think You Can Cook

#SundaySupper: Budget Friendly Meals

Today’s Sunday Supper theme is Budget Friendly Meals. It’s that time of year when budgets become tested and spending levels go off the charts, so why not save some green in the kitchen. A big thank you to Shelby Ruttan of Gumpy’s Honey Bunch and Caroline Williams of Caroline’s Cooking for hosting this week. Be sure to scroll past my recipe for an incredible selection of penny pinching recipes.

Twice baked potatoes have become my go-to mid-week I-don’t-want-to-cook dinner plan. I can re-purpose leftovers by adding them to the mashed potato mixture. Chili, taco meat, or shredded chicken make for fantastic twice baked potato fillings.

I must admit, I am a complete failure when it comes to a baked potato. I mean, how hard can it be?! Stick potato in oven. Wait. But for some strange reason I can never get the insides of the potato to be cooked. And then I discovered the “baked potato” button on the microwave. My whole world had been turned upside down and the amount of potatoes (and sweet potatoes) we’ve eaten has increased.

Today’s original recipe is inspired by French Onion Soup. I used deli roast beef in this recipe but leftover shredded roast would be perfect, too! Or, you could leave the beef out and use vegetable stock for a vegetarian friendly side dish. Swiss or Gruyere cheese would be a more authentic cheese to add to the mashed potato but I was using what I had available to me, and that was Parmesan.

This recipe is for two whole potatoes, which feeds 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

An Original Recipe

French Onion Soup Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1/4 tsp beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 baked (or microwaved) potatoes
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/8 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C chopped deli roast beef
  • 1/4 C Parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions in 2 tbsp butter until caramelized. This will take approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Season onions with 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add the broth, Worcestershire, and thyme. Cook until saucy, about 1-2 minutes. Set onions aside. Note: These two steps can be done in advance and caramelized onions stored in the fridge.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides.
  5. Mash the potatoes with 1 tbsp butter, milk, and sour cream until creamy. Fold in the onions and roast beef. Season to taste with S+P.
  6. Fill the potato skins with the mashed potato mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and potatoes are warmed through.

French Onion Soup Twice Baked Potatoes for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Save-Your-Pennies Soups:
Bean and Bacon Soup by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Mexican Turkey Bean Soup by What Smells So Good?
Pasta e Fagioli by The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
Turkey and Dumpling Soup by Palatable Pastime
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup by Pancake Warriors

Budget-Savvy Bread and Salads:
Mom’s Buttermilk Biscuits by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Turkey Salad by Food Done Light

Money-Saving Mains:
Black Bean and Bell Pepper Quesadillas by My San Francisco Kitchen
Cajun Blackened Chicken Thighs by Feeding Big
Chicken Enchilada Casserole by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
Chicken Enchiladas by The Freshman Cook
Chicken Piccata by Monica’s Table
Chicken Tetrazzini by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Chimichurri Chicken Thighs by Life Tastes Good
Dutch Baby Pancakes by Brunch with Joy
Easy Cheesy Egg Breakfast Bake with Potatoes and Sausage by From Gate to Plate
Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
Egyptian Rice and Lentils by Wholistic Woman
French Onion Soup Twice Baked Potato by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Gnocchi with Fennel and Pork by Caroline’s Cooking
Italian Baked Chicken by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Lasagna Stuffed Acorn Squash by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Orzo with Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potatoes by Cooking Chat
Sauteed Vegetables by Party Food and Entertaining
Turkey Sausage and Pasta by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Twice Baked Sweet Potato Bar by Momma’s Meals
Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles) by Curious Cuisinere

Don’t-break-the-bank Desserts:
Apple Pecan Bread Pudding by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Marshmallow Popcorn Balls by Pies and Plots
Slow Cooker Apple Gingerbread Crumble by The Crumby Cupcake

And more saving suggestions from the Sunday Supper Movement:
Budget-Friendly Meal Ideas for #SundaySupper
8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Our Anniversary Souffle Date

Today is our 4th anniversary!

We didn’t have any big plans for this year – Stuart is going off on a 30 hour adventure race tomorrow and a trip anywhere was going to be out of the question anyway being one month from my due date. We thought about taking the day off from work and going to the beach, but that idea became vetoed when I was placed on bed rest a month ago. (Turns out today’s weather forecast would’ve kept us inside regardless!) And I’m not making anything fancy from the couch.

So for this honorary blog post, I’m going to share with you a kitchen adventure we took for our 2nd anniversary. Making souffles!

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I picked out a savory side dish to go with our salmon and he picked out dessert. And funnily enough, we ended up making each others dish. We didn’t plan it that way, but that’s just how the kitchen tango worked itself out.

My potato souffles were made in ramekins instead of the potato skins. If I remember correctly we struggled at removing the potato from the skin.

Potato SoufflesDSCN3012

For dessert Stuart picked Orange Souffles that were made in the orange rinds! We didn’t puncture the rind on this recipe, and even had extra filling to do two ramekins in addition to the 6 oranges. We had a couple of blow outs but managed to save 3 beautifully souffleed desserts.

Orange SoufflesOrange Souffles

 

Busia’s Cheese Soup

My first truly culinary post is in honor of the woman who introduced me to the kitchen, my Busia. (Busia, pronounced boo-sha, is the Americanized Polish word for grandmother.) Busia didn’t teach me how to cook in the ways you might traditionally think of a grandmother teaching her granddaughter, but she did welcome me into her kitchen and let me be her sous chef – peeling carrots and potatoes and chopping veggies. And even still, my favorite part of making dinner is all the prep work! It might be the engineer in me though too – I love trying to keep everything the same size while I’m chopping.

If I had to choose just one recipe that makes me think of my grandmother, it’s her cheese soup. There are potatoes and carrots that need to be peeled and chopped along with celery. I don’t recall ever chopping the onion when I was younger, but it’s one of my favorite foods to dice now that I’ve learned the proper technique from watching countless hours of Food Network.

To me, the most comforting smell in the kitchen is the smell of onions sautéing in butter! And I think this recipe is the reason why.

While I was preparing the soup yesterday afternoon, the smells of Busia’s kitchen came into mine and I knew she was looking down on me, making sure the milk wouldn’t curdle when I added it to the roux and didn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.

I think it’s true when they say the secret ingredient is love, because it turned out perfectly.

Busia’s Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 4 C warmed milk (I heated it in a glass bowl in microwave for ~4:30)
  • 4 C boiling chicken stock (I did this on the stove)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (The potatoes will break down a little bit during cooking time)
  • 1 lb Velveeta, cubed

Steps

  1. In a large pot, melt butter. Add onion, season with salt, and cook until translucent. Add the flour and whisk until combined and a roux is formed, be careful not to let it burn.
  2. Add the warmed milk and whisk until combined. Add in the boiling chicken stock and the vegetables. Let simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Melt in the Velveeta – it’s best to do it in batches, making sure the cheese melts completely before your next addition. After all the cheese is incorporated, let warm back through completely and serve.

Cheese Soup 2

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