It has been a veritable kale storm around here lately. We love it, and it has been coming to us in abundance from our Whitton Farms CSA. This soup features kale two ways, braised and fried, along with sweet potatoes in a mash-up of more than a few African culinary traditions.
I got the idea from Burt Wolf's show about how much American foodways borrow traditions from Africa. He noted that it was widely believed in the United States that peanuts, native to Africa, were poisonous before being heralded as health food and, believe it or not, a good alternative to meat.
1 onion (diced)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger (microplaned)
4 cups vegetable broth
4 tablespoons peanut butter (chunky kind)
6 cups kale (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 large sweet potato (medium dice)
1 can red beans (rinsed)
salt & pepper (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon harissa (North African spice paste)
Sweat onion and ginger in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the onion starts to brown, add the broth. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.
(You can find harrissa at natural foods markets or international food markets in your area. It is a wonderful, spicy paste with hints of clove and cinnamon.)
I served this with Israeli cous-cous and fried kale. Toss any big pieces of curly kale in a tablespoon of olive oil, and then stick it into a 350 degree oven until they are crispy -- it'll take less than 10 minutes. The result is super-cool: kale chips!