Last year I fell in love with kale. Yes, it’s great in green smoothies, and salads, but lately I’ve been adding it to many of the soups I make. And why not – it contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, and brain-boosting phytonutrients. It’s related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula and collard greens in the cruciferous vegetable family. Kale is one of the easiest crops for local farmers to grow which is probably why it is relatively inexpensive next to other greens.
I’ve been making this kale soup recipe for over a year and decided I wanted to add something to it to thicken it up. I had a package of organic split peas in the cabinet and the decision was made.
This is a small recipe and since I cook for the freezer, I doubled it for myself.
Purchasing Multi-Use Ingredients
I discovered an off-brand of split peas that I had grabbed at a health food store. Turns out it only had 14 ounces of peas in the package versus the standard 16 ounces. I normally buy Arrowhead Mills brand organics to get the standard weight. In this recipe, I also used an organic vegetable broth from Sprouts, a local store which is only available in the west. If you have a Safeway store near you, they sell their own organic brand, Organics. Looks like I grabbed one of their Italian Seasoning when I was near a Safeway, but I usually purchase Simply Organic, which is sold in a larger size than the Organics.
When purchasing a packaged organic product, it’s important to read the label. When they list the ingredients, each ingredient must have the word organic in front of it. Otherwise, only part of the product is organic.
This recipe as listed serves 4.
1 tablespoon organic Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 medium Carrots, chopped
1 cup Celery, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
4 cups Vegetable Broth
8 oz. Green Split Peas
1/2 bunch sage or 2 teaspoons dried Sage
2 Red Potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 bunch Kale, rinsed, stems removed, chopped fine
2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar or to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in soup pot.
2. Saute onions in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add carrots and celery and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.
4. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
5. Add broth to pan and bring to a boil. Add split peas and sage and simmer for 15 minutes. Skim off the foam as it rises to the top of the pot.
6. Add potatoes and continue to simmer until tender – about 15 minutes.
7. Add kale, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to pot. Add more broth (or water) if needed. Remove from heat and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Let the soup rest for 10-15 minutes.
Remember, I doubled the recipe. If you are making a single recipe, you can use a saucepan – I used a large pot.
Heat the oil before adding the onions. To test the oil, add one of the chopped onion pieces to the pot – oil is ready if it sizzles.
Onions simmer in the pot – stir frequently so all the onions cook evenly.
Onions have been cooked sufficiently with the carrots and celery.
The split peas have been washed and picked over to remove any stones or other debris. They will stick together when you add them to the broth, so don’t be surprised.
Split peas contain a lot of starch. When cooked at a high temperature, they start releasing the starch which looks like foam. Take a large spoon and skim off the foam until it is gone.
The split peas have started to cook down and have disappeared into the broth.
With a large spoon, push the kale down into the broth as you add it to the pot. All the kale needs to be covered with some of the broth before covering the pot.
Chopping the Kale
Cut the kale down the spine to remove the leaves. Discard the stem. Chop the leaves fine. You want them to fit on your spoon, not hanging over the side when eating the soup.
The top Kinetic Go Green Glassworks storage set is my favorite. Once you snap on the lid there is no way the contents are going to leak, even if you drop the container on the floor. Oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher safe and the lids are BPA free and environmentally safe.
The round container with the navy blue lid is similar to this Pyrex Storage Set. I use these as a backup storage source because I really don’t like the plastic lids. The problem is the vacuum it creates when placing the lid on a warm food source. I only store this set in the refrigerator because the tops will leak.
I doubled this recipe so I would have plenty in the freezer. I like to have food in my freezer so I don’t go wondering off for pizza or other fast food. I have been slowly converting all my plastic (and BPA free) containers to glass. Even though glass takes up more space in the freezer than plastic containers or plastic bags, I love them. I know my food is as safe as it can be from toxic chemicals.
Doubling this recipe provided me with 6-8 meals… I usually eat a single item at my meals, i.e. I don’t serve the soup with a salad or anything else when it’s just me.
Give this recipe a try – I hope you like it. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ll make it again!
P.S. I make a lot of soup recipes because I can double the recipe and have enough to store in the freezer. This means I don’t have to be making meals in the kitchen every day. Eating vegan be a lot of work, especially if you’re eating raw. Eating raw is only part of my recipe collection – I find ways to keep it simple.
Follow me @RealVeganLife