I just realized something kinda funny. Last week I posted a recipe for bean soup with kale on top. Today it’s kale soup with beans on top. I totally didn’t plan it that way. Also, the recipes are quite different. I mean, soup, yes, which you can expect lots of for the next few months, but otherwise the dishes are pretty distinct. Last week it was creamy beans and crunchy kale. Today it’s crunchy beans and creamy kale. Both combinations are entitled to some exploration. Trust me.
I’m a kale lover, so I can’t speak with any real certainty, but I think this might be the kale recipe for kale haters. It’s really freaking good. We’re approaching the start of winter, which means I have to prepare most of my meals that end up on the blog early in the day so I’ve got some natural light for pictures. On the day I made this soup I was picking at it all day long. I think the cashews might have something to do with that. If you want to make something delicious, add cashews, and that goes doubly for kale. (Side note: yesterday’s post was all about cashews as well. Again, didn’t plan it that way. This happens.)
The recipe appears to be more involved than it really is. Most of the work is involved in operating the food processor. You will blend up lots and lots of batches of kale. Then you will blend up at least one batch of cashews. It’s really not bad though, and you don’t even need to clean the food processor between batches, which, let’s face it, is the only real sucky part of using a food processor.
The chickpeas are optional, but you should take the option of making them, even if you don’t include the “spicy” part. I recognize that I have a tendency to throw hot sauce on everything that approaches my face. This can be a problem when I’m taste-testing recipes for the blog that normal people wouldn’t put hot sauce on, like kale soup. I solved that problem here by making spicy a part of the recipe. No additional hot sauce required! If you’re not on board, just make the chickpeas as instructed without the cayenne. You’ll still be glad to have them. Nothing rounds out a creamy you’d-never-know-it’s-vegan soup like some crunch.
- 1-14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large bunch (about 1½ lb) curly kale
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Place chickpeas, olive oil, cayenne and salt in small bowl. Stir to completely coat chickpeas.
- Arrange chickpeas in an even layer on baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 50 minutes, flipping 2-3 times during baking.
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and remove from heat while you prepare kale and cashews.
- Remove the stems from the kale leaves. Working batches, place kale leaves in food processor bowl. Pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to pot with broth. Continue until all kale is chopped and has been added to pot.
- Place cashews in food processor. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. You can optionally add a bit of broth from the pot in order to get a smooth consistency.
- Transfer cashew mixture to pot with kale and broth. Stir well. Place over high heat and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Ladle into bowls and top with roasted chickpeas.