One bag of kale, part 3; vegetable barley soup

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For those of you who just joined, this week I am posting recipes using one bag of kale.  Everyone who shops in a grocery store has encountered the large, pillow sized bags of greens and probably most of us thing out loud, “I could never cook all of that before it goes bad…”  Well, worry no more, you can use that bag of kale before it turns to slime and you will wonder why you didn’t try this before.  Of course, you have to like cooked greens or this will not work for you!  To see the first two recipes, follow the links at the end of this post.

With the change in season, soups are appearing on the table often at our house.  Lunch or dinner, either will work, I enjoy a soup that is full of vegetables and beans but I really love it when barley is in the mix as well.  To make this soup, you can use whatever vegetables you like but to end up with a hearty vegan soup that is full of flavor, you do have to add some things to replace the flavor that meats and salts provide.  The kale will impart some flavor and contribute to the hearty profile, the beets will add an earthy quality along with color but the ingredient that really does it is the mushrooms.  They will take the flavor profile in a direction that is full flavored and satisfying without needing a single bit of meat or poultry.   Mushrooms and mushroom powders are the secret ingredient I reach for whenever I am making a soup or sauce that is meatless because they give it a similar flavor profile and add a richness that meateaters (and some former meateaters) often find lacking in a vegan recipe.

Vegetable Barley Soup with Kale

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serves 2-4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced small, about 3/4 cup

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 carrot, diced small, about 1/3 cup

1 celery stalk, diced small, about 1/3 cup

1 fresh beet, peeled and diced into small cubes, about 1/3 cup

1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms

6 cups vegetable broth, more as needed

1/3 cup pearled barley

2 cups chopped kale

salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.  Add the carrots, celery, beet and mushrooms and saute for a couple minutes to get the mushrooms to release their juices.  Pour in the broth and the barley and bring the mixture to a boil.  Immediately reduce the heat so that the soup simmers slowly.  Continue at the simmer until the barley is soft.  The cooking time will depend completely on the barley and it can take from 30-45 minutes to soften completely.  As the soup liquid reduces, you can add additional broth or water.  Stir in the kale and cook until the it turns bright green and wilts a bit.  Season with the salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread or crackers.

One Bag of Kale Recipes

Autumn Kale Salad with Butternut Squash

Potato-Kale Hash with Chickpeas

Greens and Beans

2 thoughts on “One bag of kale, part 3; vegetable barley soup

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