Kale Soup on Sunday

It was my turn in the rotation to cook Sunday dinner for my lovely housemates this week, and since I've been craving my mom's kale soup, I asked her for the recipe and set about recreating one of my favorite dishes from home. She varies her recipe based on what's in the house, so I tailored it to my friends' tastes. I was proud that my first attempt at making Mom's soup came out so well, and even though my friends had never had kale before (shocking, I know!), they enjoyed it and E had a large second helping. :) Anyway, I'm going to share the "recipe" here, although I'm guesstimating on some of the measurements because I pretty much winged it for most of the ingredients. It's pretty simple - but oh so yummy.

Mom's Kale Soup

2 quarts vegetable broth (I used 1 qt Imagine veggie broth and 3 cups water with a bouillon cube, just because that's less expensive)
1 bunch kale, shredded into smallish pieces
1 1/2 cans beans - I used a mixture of kidney and great northern; Mom suggests cannellini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot (I chopped up baby carrots; I like the small rounds)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
A couple shakes Tabasco sauce
Spices - I used dried basil and a bit of cayenne pepper; Mom suggests basil, rosemary, and red pepper flakes, but I didn't have the latter two in the cupboard
You can also add corn or a finely chopped potato or two, but I left them out because neither E nor B particularly likes corn, and I prefer the soup without potatoes

Pour a little broth into the bottom of a large soup pot; add the onions and garlic and cook until they begin to get soft. Shred up the kale and add it to the pot, adding a little more liquid as necessary. Once the kale has softened and cooked down, add all the other ingredients to the pot and let simmer for about an hour.

That's it! Super simple but really delicious. You can mess with the spices to taste; I think the fire roasted tomatoes and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce give this just enough of a mild kick to keep it from being boring. It wasn't really spicy to me at all, but E, a native Wisconsinite known for her aversion to spicy foods, said she could taste it.

I served the soup with a batch of Baking Powder Biscuits from VwaV. B loved the biscuits and couldn't stop eating them! They definitely rose nicely and were a great compliment to the soup, but they were too salty for my taste - I definitely won't put in a whole teaspoon of salt next time I make them!

That was my Sunday night meal. Simple, healthy, yet filling and yummy. And the night got even better when B and I returned home a little later from our comps meeting (comps are the big senior project type things we have to pass to graduate, eek) to find that E had baked a big ol' chocolate cake - and it just happened to be vegan and delicious! Best night ever. :)