As it turns out, summer colds and sniffles are totally a thing!
My dearest hubby is currently suffering from a particularly nasty one and only wants to eat soup, “but we’re in the middle of a heat wave” a tell him! I knew there was a compromise to be found. We needed a smooth and comforting soup that was light enough for summer months, with maximum nutritional value, and using what we had in the fridge, and so, the idea for this lovely vegan kale soup was born.
I used to think of kale as predominantly a winter vegetable, however it is a very hardy plant and so grows well through the summer months as well. I’m using Westland Winter Kale for this recipe, it has tightly curled leaves and a beautiful dark green colour, however you could use any variety that is available near you.
I decided to keep the time cooking time of the kale as short as possible, this not only makes the soup really quick it make, but minimises the loss of nutrients… a most important part of the cold recovery strategy! In this case I steamed it for only three minutes once the soup base was ready. The cayenne pepper is a vitamin filled, metabolism boosting aid and gives it a lovely slow building and subtle heat.
This vegan kale soup is so incredibly versatile, my hubby had a big bowl of the hot soup with toasted sesame seed flat bread. I tried it both chilled and only just warm, both were delicious, however the chilled version just wins because it was so refreshing on a warm evening! Serve with crushed cashews and some chewy, toasty rye bread, or a dollop of sour cream if dairy is your thing.
With love and gratitude for kick-ass immune systems, all year round x
- 200g kale
- 35g (1/4 cup) cashews
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tsp avocado oil (or your cooking oil of choice)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1½ tsp vegan bouillon powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or leave it out if you don't like the heat)
- A small grating of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 750ml water
- Finely dice the onion and garlic cloves, keep separate and put to one side.
- Remove the tough central stalks from the kale, saving only the soft tender leaves for the soup.
- Put a saucepan on a medium heat and once hot, add the oil and finely diced onion, stir once then immediately turn down the heat to medium/low.
- Slowly cook the onion until soft and translucent, this should take around 10 minutes and it brings out the natural sweetness in the onion. Take care not to let the pan get too hot or the onion will blacken and begin to taste bitter.
- Add the garlic and stir for around 30 seconds.
- Add the nutmeg and cayenne pepper, stir once or twice.
- Add the water and bouillon powder, and bring the soup to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer the soup for a couple of minutes so that the flavours infuse.
- Add the kale and pop a lid on, leave for 3 minutes of so, until the kale is just tender.
- Add the cashews to the soup and then blend using a hand blender. If you only have a food processor, please let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes before whizzing it up, or process it in batches, otherwise you risk the steam pressure building up and popping the lid off!
- Eat warm or pop in the fridge to chill.