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Kale and Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
by Emily Malone
Editor's Note: A gem from the Daily Garnish's Emily Malone, this soup is sure to warm up a cold winter evening and - packed with the protein and fiber double punch of black beans, carotene rich carrots and sweet potatoes, and the king of dark leafy greens, kale - it will give your immune system the essential nutrients to keep strong this season.
'Ingredients: (makes 3-4 servings)
* 6 large carrots
* 1 large sweet potato (or 2 medium)
* 1 medium onion
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1 bunch, or 3-4 cups kale
* 1 can black beans
* 4 cups vegetable stock
* 1 tsp cumin
* 1/2 avocado
To Prepare: The key to this recipe is ROASTING the vegetables. A few of you asked about what I mean exactly by "roasting" so I’ll explain it a little more clearly this time. (Also – I’m planning to do a cooking technique series in the future, based on what I’ve learned in school – stay tuned!) Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Next up – washing, peeling, and trimming your carrots.
Then spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray…
Chop up the carrots and sweet potato into cubes – try to get them to a relatively uniform size. You need similar sized pieces so that they cook at the same rate, otherwise big pieces will stay crunchy, and small pieces will burn.
Throw the whole pan in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until good and browned. While those are roasting, go ahead and rip the leaves off your kale stems, and wash thoroughly – kale can be really sandy!
Go ahead and dice up your onion and garlic now too. When you’re done, take a break, read a magazine, relax. After 45 minutes or so, your veggies should be done in the oven, and should look nice and brown and wrinkly.
Okay, now we’re ready to put the whole thing together. Sauté your onions and garlic over medium high heat in a Dutch oven or other big pot. Once your onions have browned, add your roasted veggies and give a stir.
Now add the liquid – 4 cups of vegetable broth (or water of you don’t have any!). Check it out – Trader Joe’s broth is gluten free – hurrah!
Add your kale to the pot – it will seem like a TON and be overflowing. I promise you it will wilt a lot.
Cover and simmer about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the kale has wilted down quite a bit, add the black beans and seasoning. I used cumin and a little bit of lemon pepper spice blend. Also add your salt and pepper now!
Let it simmer uncovered for about 5 more minutes – just long enough to heat the beans all the way through.
Last step is garnish. I added some cubed fresh avocado to the top of our bowls, and it was the PERFECT touch! Also rounded out the bowl nutritionally – double points!
I know it seems like a lot of effort to wait the 45 minutes to roast the vegetables before even starting to put this soup together, but I promise you it is worth both the work and the wait. The flavor you get is just incomparable.
Chunks of avocado add a cooling freshness in every bite – delicious!
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About the Cook
Emily Malone is the vegetarian chef and creator behind Daily Garnish - a resource for recipes, cooking tips, and inspiration for a healthier lifestyle. After 6 years in the non-profit world, she traded her desk job for a knife kit and recently graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Culinary Arts degree.