This is a post about pumpkin and kale. If you like those things, read on. If not, go paint your dog’s nails.
This past weekend I Megabussed my booty to Chicago to visit my lovely friend Jennifah. Between city-galavanting and havoc-wreaking we decided to experiment a bit in the kitch (cuz, really, what else would I want to do?). The product of our labor was a pumpkin soup made using the freshly roasted pumpkin purée which Jen had in her fridge. When I said that I’ve mainly (exclusively) been using canned pumpkin this fall Jen inhaled sharply and responded that she was disappointed in me. According to the the Pumpkin Queen it’s a) tastier b) more cost-effective c) justwaybetterallaround to roast your own pumpkin. Aight, aight, I said, lesson learned. I guess I’ll have to get my canned food fix from Canned Beanz with Balls.
Despite using the fresh pumpkin puree (in all its glory) that particular soup was a flop (the featured flavors included cinnamon, orange, and raw onion). Don’t think that this stopped me from eating multiple bowls of it for dinner and again as a midnight snack. Don’t even.
I spent much of the bus ride back to Madison thinking about what I would do with the three large pumpkins sitting in my own kitchen. (My life is compelling, I know.) When I walked in the door, however, I was not only sidetracked from pumpkin but completely CAN’T STOP USING CAPS LOCK THRILLED to find waiting on our kitchen table a gigantic tub packed to the brim with kale. Our friend Isaac works at the student farm on campus and happened to have a lot of extra curly greens at the end of the season. Because he is the best human on planet earth (and knows that this household devours kale faster than chocolate) he dropped it off on Saturday. THANKS, ISAAC!
Okay, so…let the games begin?
Because I am a kale fiend/nerd and always want to pass on some good old fashioned kale lovin’ to others, I’m going to try and feature as many kale recipes as possible before I inevitably reach the bottom of the barrel. For now, I have two delicious and very easy recipes worth incorporating into your late fall repertoire. The pumpkin soup is especially great. I just ate two bowls of it and really feel warmed through and through. The Pumpkin Soup That Almost Was, right Jen?
Simple Sautéed Kale with Garlic
Simplest kale recipe in the book.
Simply heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and the garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes until it begins to sizzle, then add the greens. Sauté 4-5 minutes or until the greens just begin to wilt. Kale maintains more of its amazing nutritional value if it’s not cooked at too high of a heat for too long. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy it on the side.
Recipe numero dos:
Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Kale
Makes 7-8 cups
1. Heat a large pot over a medium flame and add the olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté a couple minutes until it is lightly browned. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, water, crushed tomato, lentils, lemon juice, and spices.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a bit extra water if it looks like it is getting very thick (like applesauce or denser) or starts to burn. Once the lentils are cooked, add the kale and cook an additional 5-7 minutes.