Most people probably don’t salivate at the mere thought of kale, but I’m not most people. Kale has easily taken root in my heart as my green of choice, and I can’t walk past it in the grocery store or at the farmers’ market without buying another bunch. If there’s no kale in my fridge right now it’s only because I just used up what was there, and as soon as I walk past another leafy bouquet, I’ll happily carry it home to look for additional ways to use it in my meal preparations.
Hmmmm. What should I fix for supper tonight? What’s something I can do with kale? Let’s start and end there.
That’s usually how it goes in my head. Except it’s not usually contained in my head because I do talk out loud to myself, especially when food and kitchen tools are involved in the conversation.
And so it was that I came across this masterful recipe for more soup from Isa over at the Post Punk Kitchen. Isa’s recipes never fail me. They’re amazing. She’s got mad recipe creating skillz. Seriously. But this recipe? It’s a must-make and take no prisoners kind of soup.
I don’t eat meat. But I used to. I grew up on the What Meat is in the Freezer For Supper Tonight? classic American diet, so I’ve had it all. Ask my mom. And this soup from Isa? It’s like eating chicken and wild rice soup. Honest. I don’t even miss eating chicken soup – never, not even once. All I’m saying is this is a hearty, meaty-like, extremely filling and over-the-top satisfying kind of soup. Yes, it’s THAT good!
My tasters wanted more. I wanted more, too, so I kept most of the leftovers for myself and enjoyed two lunches out of it! So very scrumptious.
And the prep? It wasn’t difficult. The key ingredient you might need to add to your shopping list will be the cashews. Otherwise, assuming you have kale, you’ll have the list of basic ingredients and can get right to chopping that onion.
The cashew cream is really what gives this soup its hearty base, and it’s so simple to make. Know that you can use any rice variety you choose. I went with a wild rice blend, and don’t know that I’ll ever want to use anything but that if I make it again; it was that good.
Isa taught me a trick: you don't have to pre-soak your cashews if you're short on time. Cheat and put them in the microwave them for two minutes! Same outcome. More radiation. Your call.
- Cashews - 3/4 cup, soaked in water for 2 hours, or overnight
- Olive Oil - 2 T
- Yellow Onion - 1 medium, thinly sliced
- Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
- Dried Rosemary - 1 tsp
- Dried Thyme - 3/4 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Fresh Black Pepper - to taste
- Wild Rice Blend or any rice variety - 3/4 cup, rinsed
- Celery - 3 ribs, thinly sliced
- Carrot - 1 cup, diced chunky
- Vegetable Broth - 5 cups
- Chickpeas - 1 24oz can, drained & rinsed (about 3 cups)
- Kale - 4 cups, chopped
- Green Onion - thinly sliced for garnish
Drain the cashews and place them in a blender with one cup of fresh water. Blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor with a spatula occasionally to make sure you get everything. This could take 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the strength of your processor.
Preheat a stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and saute a minute more.
Add rice, celery and carrots and then pour in the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer, add the chickpeas, and let cook for about 15 more minutes, until rice is cooked and carrots are tender.
Add the cashew cream and kale, and simmer until kale is wilted, 3 to 5 more minutes. You may need to add water to thin the soup if it seems too thick. Taste for salt and seasonings and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavors to marry. Serve topped with green onions.
It thickens as it cools, so if you have leftovers, just thin with a little water when you reheat.