Hi All. Since moving house a couple of months ago, I haven’t been blogging at all. New routine, new challenges, new life. I’ve also had to learn how to cook. The horror. Considering that up until now, my idea of cooking consisted of sticking a pizza in the oven (and most likely burning it) this is a huge deal! It’s not that I hate cooking, I just hate stirring and tend to avoid it at all costs. This is a pretty disgraceful with me being a gardener with a huge amount of fresh ingredients to hand and so I have decided to begin cooking the food from my plot and writing about it. Warning, this may lead to a plethora of posts about charred veggies and my kitchen on fire. Watch this space.
Right now, the plot is in off season. The weather is bad, winter is ravaging my crops and a bad storm this week all but decimated what was left of my vegetables. I do, however, have a lot of Kale. Kale is one of my favourite vegetables so I’ve decided to try out a few new recipes as it’s in season, healthy, tasty and easy to cook.
Nothing says winter food like soup, and I currently have enough onions to feed an entire soup kitchen, so today I made a very simple and tasty kale and apple soup with walnuts.
I used two different varieties of Kale, both grown on my plot. I didn’t burn down the kitchen, though I did slightly over-toast my walnuts and there are bits of kale everywhere, but it turned out to be delicious and very filling.
175g Kale (duh) 450ml of Vegetable Stock
2 Apples (I used red apples) 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
1 large red onion Chopped walnuts
2 Carrots Créme Fraiche
Stab wildly at onion with carving knife while bawling your eyes out (pro tip: this is a very good time to have a cry about your ex, your bank balance or your dead dog as nobody will be any the wiser and will blame onion).
Peel carrots and roughly grate. This will be your gym time for the week. Ensure you do not grate finger.
Core apples and chop. Maybe use a third apple for inevitable casual munching.
Throw onions, apples and carrot into a large pot that seems large but when you’re adding the kale later, will seem like the smallest pot in the western world.
Add 450ml of veggie stock and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar. Warning: do NOT take a casual swig of cider vinegar to “see what it’s like”.
Bring to the boil while undertaking the most tedious task of all time, stirring. (anybody who’d like to buy me a robostir for Christmas, I would very much appreciate it). Once boiled, lower heat – do not accidentally turn off heat on your impossible to work gas cooker – and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
While this is simmering, gently toast some chopped walnuts on a pan. Gently. Black walnuts are not great. I tried. Not great at all. Remove from heat (this part is pretty essential).
Chop Kale. And by chop I mean rip apart with bare hands into small bunches and squeeze into the deceptively small pot. Do this a small piece of kale at a time, do not throw a load in and wildly have to stab down into soup with a wooden spoon. Allow this to cook for a further 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat without burning your new tea towel on the open flame of gas cooker and pour into a blender. Ensure the lid is on tight, kale is very difficult to remove from a ceiling. Blend soup and pour into bowl.
Add a dollop of créme fraiche and your toasted walnuts and serve. To yourself, because you’re all alone. Sob.
I had some toasted ciabatta with goats cheese with my soup. It was very tasty and wasn’t at all ruined by my tears.
Sit back, be amazed at your kitchen prowess and enjoy this very tasty and filling soup.