This post was originally published here on February 4, 2015. I’ve since updated the recipe slightly and added new (and better!) photos. Enjoy!
And just like that, we’re right smack into the middle of January. Seriously, how does this time go by so fast? I feel like I say that as we approach the end of every day/month/year. But it just seems to be true. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
So how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a damn good thing that I didn’t make any regarding food, because whoa nelly would I have broken them all this weekend. Shattered them, actually.
I don’t know what got into me. Well, I know exactly what got into me: a couple of bags of Valentine’s Day candy. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about Valentine’s Day candy, but it’s my favorite and I can’t ever seem to resist it. And with the stores pushing the Holiday’s earlier and earlier each year, I’m doomed from the start of January until mid-February.
Side note: My friend Christina wrote a little Valentine’s Day candy review this past week and it’s a fun read, if you’re into that sort of thing.
So it’s back to soups and smoothies for me for the next couple of days. And this Kale and Apple Soup is one I’ll be enjoying on the regular.
Now, don’t go and immediately write this soup off as some weird dieter recipe. Sure, it’s packed full of greens and it can certainly be labeled “healthy”. But it also has a little bacon, which gives it a rich, luscious taste. And it’s not at all thin, watery and one-dimensional. Those are not good characteristics for soup, or otherwise. Nope. This Kale and Apple Soup has body, a touch of sweetness from some maple syrup and a little bit of heat from a heavy sprinkling of red and black pepper flakes to finish it off. It’s a recipe that I’ve been making for a couple years now. And it’s one I always go back too when I feel the need to be a little bit kinder to my body.
The soup recipe itself is dairy free. Although I do love adding a little drizzle of heavy cream on top. But you can certainly skip that part, if you prefer. No big deal!
For the Soup:
- 1/4 cup chopped bacon
- 1 large bunch of kale (about 10-ounces), thick stems removed
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 Granny smith apple, cored and chopped
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- Red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Heavy cream
- Maple syrup
- In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it’s just starting to brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the kale, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stirring to coat the kale and parsley in the fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
- Carefully transfer the kale mixture to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Be careful when transferring and blending hot liquids, and work in batches if necessary. Transfer the blended kale mixture to a clean bowl and set it aside.
- Place the pot back over medium-high heat and warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the chopped apple, salt and black pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
- Carefully transfer the apple mixture to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Be careful when transferring and blending hot liquids, and work in batches if necessary. Add the blended apple mixture and the maple syrup to the blended kale mixture, stirring to combine.
- Re-heat the soup as necessary, adding additional broth to thin it to your desired consistency. Lade the hot soup into bowls for serving. Top with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, black pepper and a drizzle of heavy cream and/or maple syrup, if desired.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.