Here in Middle Georgia the Farmer’s Market has been open all winter selling dark leafy greens, root veggies, the last of the honey from the summer, and local meat and eggs. We are so lucky to have such a great resource! I admit I hadn’t been in a few months, but the weather is warming up fast and I wanted to see how my favorite farmer was doing.
This week I got two LARGE bunches of kale, 6 sweet potatoes, a Vidallia onion, 2 cucumbers, and 4 tomatoes, all organic, for $15. I asked him how he grows cucumbers and tomatoes in the winter, and he said he has a greenhouse “tent” that goes over the field! Amazing what you can do with a mild winter. I’m hoping to grow Winter veggies this year in our garden as well.
He talked me into the two bunches of kale, even though it looked like a lot, and I’m glad he did! I’m learning new ways to use this super-healthy veggie everyday, even though it’s not my husband’s favorite. Tonight’s soup was a big hit, even though it combined two of his least favorite vegetables! I bet your family will love it too. The soup gets some body and creaminess (along with added protein and fiber!) from the addition of beans. If you don’t have beans, you could use 1 cup of cooked rice instead.
Kale and Asparagus Soup (Vegan) Serves 4
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 Large bunch of kale, washed, ribs removed
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 1lb asparagus, chopped, woody ends trimmed, and tips set aside
- 1 can of Great Northern Beans (or 1.5c cooked white beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- 4-5 cups of vegetable broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh lemon juice to garnish
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, toss to coat, turn down the heat to medium low and cover, allowing the onions to soften, stirring occasionally. After about 15 minutes add a few TBSP of water to the onions, stir, and continue to cook until they begin to caramelize.
Turn up the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the kale, asparagus (except for the tips), beans, and 4 cups of broth. The kale will come up much higher than the broth at first, this is OK. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale has all wilted into the pot, about 7-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Using a sieve or slotted spoon, cook the asparagus tips in the broth for about 5 minutes until just tender, then remove and set aside.
Remove the pot from the heat, add the parsley, and puree using either an immersion blender or an upright blender in batches. Adjust seasoning again if necessary, and add broth if the soup is too thick.
Dish into bowls and top with the asparagus tips and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice! Great with fresh bread or roasted potatoes.