Chick pea and kale soup

chick pea and kale soup

Being raised abroad in an Asian household in an international environment, variety was the culinary mantra.  Different countries, foods, tastes and textures. Try everything and anything at least once.  Got Balut?  Don’t get into a rut (that’s why I don’t think I’ll have any problem reaching my goal of cooking for a year without repeating the same dish twice).  I love colorful food.  Nothing is more unappetizing to me than seeing a Thanskgiving plate with beige turkey, beige mashed potatoes, and beige gravy.  Oh wait!  The stuffing is brown!  Ick.  I’d be piling on the cranberries, sweet potatoes and peas to create some color.

 This soup has Balkan origins, but while at the Farmer’s Market, I became enamored with the bright orange sweet potatoes (we call them yams in the States but they’re really not yams) and purple Peruvian potatoes.  I bet the Eastern Europeans couldn’t find ingredients this colorful.  This soup is as rainbow as it gets.  Yellow chick peas (we call them ceci because of John’s Italian background), dark green kale (I wish there was a way to keep it bright green, but alas, it was too tough at that stage), bright orange sweet potatoes, purple potatoes and red sausage.  It’s not quite cold in LA yet, but this would make a good supper for a blustery winter night.

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups kale leaves, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked chick peas (you can use canned or soak ½ cup beans overnight in water, drain, add 4 cups water and simmer for 1 ½ hours, I like doing this because they don’t get too salty like canned chick peas).  Drain before using.
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound kielbasa (Polish sausage) sliced into ½ inch slices
  • 1 pound peeled sweet potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 1 pound purple potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

Heat up oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot add onion.  Stir until onion is translucent.  Add garlic and kale leaves. Stir frequently until kale is wilted and reduced in size.  Add chick peas, stock, bay leaf, peppers and kielbasa.  Bring to boil over high heat.  When mixture is boiling, turn heat to medium low and simmer 15 minutes.  Add potatoes and simmer 15 minutes more or until potatoes can be pierced with a fork.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve with warm crusty peasant bread.  Makes eight servings.

By the way, I’ve saved the kale stems for the squirrels. I have no idea whether they will eat them (I had success getting them to eat sweet potatoes, apples and pears in addition to nuts, which they still favor) but my kids gotta eat their vegetables!

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