I first tried kale about 3 years ago when I found this recipe for soup and it was listed as an ingredient. I made it and was surprised how well it held up in the soup even after freezing and reheating. I guess I was thinking it was going to be limp like lettuce would be in a hot soup, but it’s not. When summer is waning and butternut squash starts showing up at the farmers markets I look forward to making this on the first chilly day. Here in Wisconsin we have had unseasonably cold temperatures as well as a light snow cover this past weekend so I got this recipe out of my file and made it and would love to share it with you.
I always had trouble peeling and cutting butternut squash because it is so hard. My sister-in-law Sue said she puts it in the microwave for 5 minutes to soften it. I tried that and it was much easier to peel and cut not only in half, but into the dice for this recipe. I usually buy a large butternut squash and use half for this recipe and half for either butternut squash risotto or I make a pureed butternut squash soup which is creamy and nice for a pre-dinner soup or served along side of a salad for lunch.
Every year I grow fresh herbs in pots on the deck. Before the frost last week I brought them inside so they wouldn’t freeze. I was able to cut and bundle the fresh thyme for this recipe from there. I keep a ball of string in a sandwich bag in a kitchen drawer so it’s handy to use for herbs, rouladen, or trussing chicken and turkey. Since I started doing that, it’s amazing how many uses I have found for it. When this soup is done and I take the bundle of thyme out of the soup it’s just the stems that are left and all the tiny leaves are disbursed throughout the soup. I want to acknowledge that the recipe was from Fine Cooking and posted by Ellie Krieger . The only change I will sometimes make is to use cannellini beans instead of the chick peas. I like them because they are creamier in the soup.
This past week I had the occasion to make pots de crème which is so easy and yet tastes rich and elegant. I first served it last Thanksgiving when we had an open house rather than a traditional dinner. I offered a variety of desserts, mini ginger cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin tiramasu and the pots de crème, which was the star of the desserts, so I thought I’d share that with you next week in case you’d like to make it for the holidays.
Here is the Kale and Butternut Squash soup recipe and pictures. Also, I thought I’d add the recipe for the creamy butternut squash soup, it’s really good too!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium carrots cut into medium dice
- 1 large yellow onion cut into medium dice
- 2 medium cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups ½ inch cubed butternut squash (peeled) this is about ½ of a 2# squash
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- salt to taste
- 32 ounces chicken broth (low sodium) Vegetable broth may be substituted.
- 1 14.5 or 15 oz. diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme bundled together with string
- 2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale
- 1 cup canned chickpeas (drained) or 1 can cannellini beans (drained)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot/dutch oven over medium-high heat
- Add the carrots and onion and cook about 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute
- Add the squash, allspice, cayenne, salt, broth, undrained tomatoes and bundle of thyme
- Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 10 minutes
- Add the kale and chickpeas or beans and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted (8-10 minutes more)
- DIscard the thyme bundle before serving. Season to taste with salt and/or cayenne
- ½ cup chopped sweet onion
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4-5 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- 24 ounces chicken broth or vegetable broth (or 3 cups of water and 3 bouillon cubes)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
- Saute onions in butter in a large saucepan until softened (about 5 minutes)
- Add the balance of ingredients except for the cream cheese and bring to a boil
- Lower heat and simmer until squash is tender (about 20 minutes)
- Puree in batches on low in a blender alternately adding the cream cheese until soup is creamy. Be careful to allow steam to escape while blending rather than build up in the container.
- Reheat if necessary, serve with a dollop of sour cream
- Once cream cheese is in the soup when reheating, do not let it boil.