Just a quick – for me – post for you today. A simple, but deeply nourishing and seasonal soup to warm you up on this ‘bonnie, bricht bit awfie cauld’ day. Translation: ‘beautiful, bright but awfully cold’ day.
I am slipping into old Scots vernacular for a reason. Tomorrow, the 25th of January, is the birthday celebration of Scottish national bard (poet), Robert Burns; he who gave the world Auld Lang Syne – sung around the world as one year slips into the next – and many well-loved poems.
Many Scots around the globe will gather together tomorrow to feast, sing, dance and drink plenty of whisky in his honour. If you ever get an opportunity to attend what is usually a quite raucous gathering to commemorate his life and works, take it. You will be in tears from both laughter and touching sentiment, and I promise you will never forget it. The moment anyone sings “My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose,” I melt. My father-in-law sang it at my wedding to Andrew, his deep baritone trembling with emotion. We married on New Year’s Eve.
I have made this simple soup to start off the evening. More common soups – or brose – would be traditional cock-a-leekie and cullen skink soups – both tremendously fabulous soups. But I am just throwing this in as a very simple and vegan alternative (the former is with chicken and the latter with smoked fish). Kale is something that was fed only to our cattle for many centuries, or was ‘poor food.’ Now we know better and grow this intensely nutritious vegetable for ourselves.
I have been asked to contribute this soup to Scotland.org as part of their Burn’s Night celebrations (the website has some interesting twists on traditional Scottish dishes). I have also been asked to take part in Swap Your Old January To An Aldi January (#AldiChallenge), flagging up the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well and deliciously. And with this easy, budget-friendly recipe, you certainly don’t have to spend a lot.
Creamy Kale and Potato Soup with Salt n Sauce Kale Crisps
1 tbsp butter or rapeseed oil (Scottish preferred) – Aldi’s vegetable oil is 100% UK rapeseed
1 small onion or medium leek (white only), peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed (about 3 cups)
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (plus extra for serving if liked)
2 bay leaves
800ml (28 fl oz) vegetable stock – Aldi has 18 cubes for 39 pence
120g (3 packed cups) kale, spring greens, cabbage greens, collard or turnip greens, washed and chopped
These healthy crisps are a nod to my adopted hometown of Edinburgh, where chips are ordered with ‘salt n sauce’. The brown sauce – otherwise known as HP sauce even though it is mostly generic brands used – is diluted slightly with vinegar and shaken over hot, freshly fried chip shop chips/fries, often with fried fish. A delight.
Cupped double handful of chopped curly kale + 1 tsp rapeseed oil + 1 heaped tsp brown sauce/HP sauce or A1 steak sauce
Special equipment: blender, immersion (hand) blender or food processor
1. Slowly sweat the chopped onion or leek with the oil for five minutes over a low-ish heat. Add in the bay leaves and nutmeg and sauté for a further minute then add the stock and potatoes. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes). Add the kale, turn off the heat, and let the greens wilt in the heat until softened – about five minutes. Fish out the bay leaves.
2. Transfer the soup to your blender or food processor and blitz until completely smooth. My Optimum 9400 blender renders these chunky ingredients into “green velvet” (quoting my daughter, who loved this soup) in seconds but most blender will cope with these ingredients very well.
3. Make the crisps while the soup is cooking by placing the kale in a large bowl, adding the oil and brown sauce, then massaging it gently. Pop it onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 140C/285F. Or until crispy and light. Serve some crisps crumbled onto the soup and some kept whole on the side.
Tip: when making bigger batches of soup I use a minimum of stock to cook the ingredients, blend the soup, then add the remaining stock. If I will be transporting it I add the stock once I reach my destination as this saves a bit of the worrying about it spilling in my car!
Disclosure: I was compensated for ingredient costs by Aldi.
This is my latest Jumpstart 2105 recipe. Here are some more blogs knocking up some lovely healthy grub and great healthy eating tips for this January event.
And I’m sending this simple and economical recipe over to a couple of round ups and challenges: