June 19, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:00
“When after the winter alarmin,’
The Spring steps in so charmin,’
So fresh and arch in the middle of March,
Wid her hand St. Patrick’s arm on ...”
— Alfred Percival Graves
Along with the joyful celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day, the cleansing, healing, fresh green foods of spring are a long awaited delight. Most cultures have a delicious array of ways to prepare fresh greens that will tantalize the palate and rejuvenate the body.
Whether it be sweet, crispy, pale green cabbage, dark green broccoli rabe with it’s aggressive bite, succulent baby bok choy, pleasantly peppery, emerald green arugula or even a mixed bag of mesclun, these foods are just a few of the many choices of delectable greens.
Kale is highly valued for it’s health giving properties, and is often found on “top 10” healthiest food lists. A potent source of calcium and fiber, kale is low in calories and provides vitamins A and C.
Kale has a pleasant flavor that marries well with potatoes, white beans and pasta, as well as being a compatible companion to sweet vegetables such as carrots and corn. Sautéing kale with onions, garlic and olive oil makes a marvelous side dish and Kale Potato Soup is a warm welcoming dish on any cool Spring day.
Kale is available year round at the supermarket. Look for bunches that have dark green or purplish green leaves with no sign of yellowing. It will last for several days in the refrigerator, unwashed.
Make greens part of preparing your delicious life and enjoy the wearin’ o’ the green!
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon good butter (try an Irish variety)
2 cups finely chopped sweet onion
2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced (use the white and light green part only)
6 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
4 medium Russet potatoes (or Yukon Gold if you prefer a more buttery flavor) washed, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery stalks, washed and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chopped kale (washed and center rib removed before chopping)
Heat oil and butter in a soup pot until butter is melted. Add onion and leeks and sauté until golden. Add the broth, potatoes, parsley, dill, carrots, celery, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes. After 40 minutes, add the chopped kale to the pot and let cook, covered, for five minutes. Remove bay leaves from the pot. Puree soup base in a blender or food processor.
Return blended soup back to the pot if using blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve in pretty shallow soup bowls, garnished with a bit of chopped parsley and dill.
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations.
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