A COUPLE OF weeks ago, I received a handwritten letter (a wonderful and rare occurrence these days) from a reader who was requesting a recipe for kale soup that had been published a while back.
She said she had misplaced it, or more likely someone had “borrowed it.”
Around my house, kale goes well in almost any recipe, winter, spring, summer or fall.
But I didn’t remember a recipe for a kale soup per se.
Looked back at files
After receiving the letter, I went back to my files from years past, all the way back to 2012 in fact.
It is hard to believe I have been writing recipes for the Peninsula Kitchen for going on six years now, and believe it or not, I have never published a kale soup recipe.
Even though I often refer to myself as a Kale Evangelist, I couldn’t take credit for this wonderful soup described in the letter.
The next obvious place to look was with Carrie Sanford, my recipe partner who had been writing for the Peninsula Kitchen on alternating Sundays for several years.
Sure enough, Carrie — who kept impeccable records — had the sought-after recipe.
You might have noticed, Carrie has recently turned in her spatula for other pursuits, and I for one will miss her rock-solid wit and recipes.
In her place, please welcome Emily Hanson, the intrepid Health Rebel, writing under the column title “The Cooking Hobbyist.”
A delicious soup
I have made Carrie’s soup twice since discovering it, and like the letter writer suggested, it is delicious.
Feel free to replace some of the kale with other spring greens.
Nettle leaf are in full season right now and add a really nice flavor.
And if you have a recipe you’d like to see, please write me a letter.
Sausage, leek and kale Italian soup
1 pound Nash‘s pork sausage (or other uncased sausage you feel good about eating)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 leeks (white parts chopped) and half an onion chopped (or some combination thereof that you have in your fridge)
5-6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2.5 quarts stock/vegetable broth
2-3 bunches of kale, stripped from the stems and chopped up
2 15-ounce cans of chopped tomatoes with the juice
½ a small can of tomato paste
½ head of green cabbage, cored and chopped roughly
Salt, pepper and sage to taste
Parmesan Cheese for garnish
Heat a little olive oil up in a big soup pot. Add sausage, garlic, onions and leeks.
Cook until onions are translucent and the meat is no longer pink.
Add in carrots, salt lightly; add more oil if needed and sauté for a few more minutes.
Add broth and bring to a simmer.
Then add the kale, tomatoes, tomato paste and cabbage.
Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.
Add salt, pepper and sage to taste.
Betsy Wharton is the proprietor of the Clallam Canning Co., a local purveyor of artisan pickles and other farm to jar goods. You can find her and her products at the Sprouting Hope Greenhouse at 826 E. First St. in Port Angeles. Or contact her at betsy@clallam canningcompany.com.