Summer Sweet Potato & Kale Soup

PlatedColor.com-KaleSweetPotatoSoup6With hot temperatures creeping their way into a southern summer, soup doesn’t come to mind as the first choice for dinner. But after freezing all day at work, a soup made with locally harvested greens and sweet potatoes actually does seem to fit the bill for dinner. I made this recipe last year from Terry Walters "Clean Start" book. I continue to find myself making it because it can be prepped in less than 30 minutes. While it's simmering for another 30 minutes, you can clean your kitchen and settle into the evening. Simple flavors with sesame seeds, sweet potatoes, creamy great white northern beans, and kale fill your bowl with satisfying protein & flavor.

Once you make a soup a couple of times, measuring the ingredients and reading the instructions flies out the window. Cooking is fun when you apply the things you like best and trust your judgement* (okay, sometimes. This free-spirited joy with a glass of wine may lead to disastrous ingredient choices). Nevertheless, I don’t think this soup can be messed up.

I used sweet potatoes from Delvin Farms and green curly kale from my Bloomsbury Farm’s CSA. After removing the stems from the leaves, I finely chopped the kale to make the pieces small. I find smaller pieces of kale is more easily enjoyed your soup.

PlatedColor.com-KaleSweetPotatoSoup2For this soup, I prepared vegetable stock in advance. Today’s stock is extra special because I used purple rainbow carrots from Kirkview Farm and got a glowing result. This made my week! How fun does this purple look? Natural food coloring at it’s finest. (#eattherainbow).  You can read about my stock recipe here and remember if you freeze stock in ice cube trays, about 8 cubes equals roughly 1 cup of stock.

PlatedColor.com-KaleSweetPotatoSoup1PlatedColor.com-KaleSweetPotatoSoup3 INGREDIENTS: + 1 small yellow onion, diced + 2 tbs grated fresh ginger + 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil + 3 stalks celery, diced + 1 large sweet potato, peeled & diced + 2 cans organic great white northern beans, rinsed + 3 tbs mirin + 1 bunch kale, chopped (Shown here: about 1 1/2 quarts loosely packed kale) + Vegetable stock (Shown here: about 10 cups, also frozen ice cubes—8 cubes equals roughly 1 cup) + pinch of ground nutmeg + Sea salt & ground pepper + Sesame seeds

METHOD: In a large pot, sauté the grated ginger and onion until soft (2-3 minutes). Drop in the sweet potatoes, celery, beans, and mirin. Stir. Then fold in kale. Top with enough vegetable stock to cover all ingredients by about 1 inch. Season with salt & pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes and you are ready to pour it into a bowl and top with some sesame seeds. For a hearty meal, add some crusty bread and organic unsalted butter. Done!

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