I have made a LOT of kale soup since January, and have come up with the perfect recipe. It is perfect in its simplicity – and it’s a crowd-pleaser.
Kale is one of those morally superior vegetables that I believe a lot of health-conscious people pretend to like – either they pretend to others, themselves – or both. Kale-eaters can put on a cloak of spiritual pride that they, above all the rest of the Twinkie-eating crowd in line at the grocery store, have stocked up on the kale, showing how they rise above the rabble in taking care of themselves and their good sense.
Some people might like it – but I can’t convince my kids of this.
Last year, I had a lot of kale that was healthy, but I didn’t enjoy it. It got cooked as a Chinese stir-fry, with garlic and soy sauce, perhaps some onion, and eating it was ‘the right thing to do’, but I was not going to wake up the next morning and say: “Oh, boy! I hope there’s some leftover kale stir-fry in the refrigerator!’
Other times I make kale ‘chips’, which are excellent if done right – and recommended. Problem is: you only use the leafy part of the kale and throw away the stems. The inherent wastefulness here leaves me – a child of children of the Great Depression where both my parents told me stories of going hungry – cold.
Another thing is that timing is critical. Too short a time and they’re soggy. Too long and they’re burnt. They also don’t ‘keep’ – you have to eat them right away.
Enter ‘The World’s Simplest Low Carb Kale Soup Recipe That’s Actually Tasty’. Timing isn’t critical like the kale chips, and I’ve kept it in the coldest part of the fridge for up to a week.
Lastly, I made more or less 3-4 pots of it in the course of a month and lost 10 pounds, so to me, it’s a ‘go-to’ low carb recipe for me.
But first – 3 important notes:
- this recipe is spicy. VERY spicy. That’s not a show-stopper at all for those of you unfortunates disinclined to spicy food – just use a milder sausage as your seasoning.
- It is absolutely necessary to have an immersion blender. Any shortcut here will either ruin the soup, or be so time-consuming and make a mess that you’ll never want to make the recipe again
- The exact way you cut the kale matters even though you are going to hit it with the immersion blender
- 2 boxes organic chicken broth – not low-sodium – this is the only salt you will add
- 2 bunches organic kale – there are different types – buy the mildest, least bitter type – it tends to be a lighter green than the other kale. I’m not saying the darker kale won’t work, but you might find the lighter type is more accepted by people who don’t normally like kale
- 2 of the largest sweet onions you can find
- 8 chorizo sausages. These are the hottest I could find in my local store. As the sausages are the only seasoning I use other than the salt in the chicken broth, you might want to consider another type of sausage, such as Italian-spiced, if you can’t take the heat.
- Pour the 2 boxes of chicken broth into a large soup pot and put the pot on the stove top at high heat.
- Next, cut the kale crosswise very thinly to eliminate long fibers in the stems – which we are going to use. Take your time here – the thinner the cuts, especially on the stems, the better the final product.
- Throw the kale into the pot
- Next, cut your onions any old way – and throw them on top of the kale – this helps to push the fluffy kale down
- Next, throw the sausages on top of the onions, put a lid on it and cook for at least a half-hour.
- After the half-hour is up, the sausages should be partially cooked from the steam, and the vegetables reduced considerably.
- take 6 of the 8 sausages out of the pot, and hit the pot with the immersion blender for a good 5 minutes. What you end up with is something close to the thickness of a pea soup. Again – this is not a step to take lightly – the more blended the soup, the more people like it, in my own testing.
- Plop the 6 remaining sausages back into the soup, and simmer for an hour.
There – you’re done.
As an additional note: all of the flavor in this comes from the seasonings in the sausage. If you like spicy sausage more than someone else, you can leave the 6 remaining sausages unmolested and whole. Otherwise, you can poke holes with a fork in the sausages when you put them back in the pot to release more of the flavor.
Lastly, this soup goes very well with some sort of dairy. Like spicy Mexican food, diary helps to remove the spiciness from the throat. Serve with a big dollop of sour cream, or greek yogurt goes great. Or top with some American cheese or cheddar cheese. Shredded cheese would also make the ideal topping.