Updated: Jan 9
It's finally cooled down in the South. I personally have gotten used to the hot and steamy weather, so it doesn't bother me anymore, but, oh boy, is it nice to have fresh, crisp air; especially when I'm running! As the weather changes, our menu changes as well. My dear husband likes to eat soup only during the cold months, so now it's time for me to get busy with stocks, soups, and stews.
The soup I'm sharing with you today is a wonderful staple in our house during the winter months. Gluten free and full of superfoods. Whether you're looking for an easy comfort meal or an entrée for a fancy dinner, this soup will be perfect.
Soup is one of those meals can be made in one pot and served as a one-bowl whole meal. It's budget friendly and a great way to clean up the fridge when you see produce that has to be used fast. Plus, you can sneak to many immune-boosting ingredients into the pot like parsley, cilantro, dill, etc. This particular soup has so many ingredients that are good for you and tasty when cooked together, like kale, cauliflower, sweet potato, and mushrooms.
Let's Talk Stock
Every good soup starts with quality stock, right? Homemade bone broth (stock) made from grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, or wild fish offers so many health benefits. Even vegetarian soups are based on some kind of stock. If you're ready to make your own stock, check out my blog and video on how to make basic beef stock here. Later in the season I'll share my take on vegetarian stock with you.
Stock from the right source is:
1. Naturally high in gelatin (protein and amino acids called proline and glycine),
2. Helpful for digestion, and
3. A good source of collagen (key to healthy bones) and minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, and calcium.
I sauté mushrooms ahead of time with little bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Any mushrooms can be used in this soup.
Having the extra flavor from sausage is nice, but you can skip it if you need to. If you use it, I recommend using sausage from a good source. I got organic chicken sausage with cheddar cheese from a local farmer. I cooked my sausages on a grill.
I used curly kale, but you can also use spinach or collard greens.
I got the green onions I used in the video at the farmer's market, but they're not the same as scallions. My mom would call them old green onions. The green part already passed the time to eat as-is, but it's great for cooking (and you can never have too many greens in your diet, right?).
I recommend using regular onion or leeks. Whatever you have on hand. Or you could do a combo of one leek and half a regular onion.
This soup is very rustic, and you can throw in any spice you like. I recommend to using a combination of cumin, smoked paprika, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes.
The sweet, nutty seeds of the coriander plant are the spice coriander. And they are really good for you. A classic remedy for tummy troubles. Decreasing "bad" LDL, increasing "good" HLD. "Coriander has been documented as a traditional treatment for cholesterol," said a team of researchers in India in the Journal of Environmental Biology.
The best way to buy coriander seeds is to buy whole seeds because the oils dissipate fairly quickly once ground. Because the oils dissipate quickly, ground coriander seeds can only be stored for about a month.
Here's another fun fact for you: The strongly scented leaves of the coriander plant are cilantro! They're not a spice, they're an herb.
Freezing: Quick Single-Serve Soup in Two Steps
Homemade soup is a winter treat that's easy to freeze. I used to freeze it in large portions until I started doing real meal prep before my second son was born. Multi-serving portions are unnecessary when you're only going to need to defrost one or two servings as the need arises.
1. Set out a number of 8 or 12-ounce and fill each with a portion of cooked soup (but not all the way to the top). Label and freeze each cup.
2. Whenever you want a quick cup of soup, remove as many servings as needed from the freezer and microwave them until they are hot and ready to serve!
Now, let's begin making a delicious and hearty warm soup that is packed with healthy nutrients.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
2 cups chopped kale
½ head of cauliflower, chopped
2 banana peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (I didn't include the seeds)
1 large, sweet potato, peeled and chopped into ¾-inch cubes
1 cup cooked mushrooms (see note above)
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped (see note above)
3 links smoked chicken sausage, cooked (see note above)
1 quart beef bone stock
1 quart + ½ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Celtic salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
1. Add olive oil and chopped onions (white part only if you're using leeks) to a cast iron pan. Sauté for 5 minutes and add chopped garlic.
2. Add chopped banana peppers and jalapeno peppers, then cook for another 5 minutes.
4. On low heat in another pot (I used my Dutch oven), add the beef stock, 1 quart of the water, and all of the sweet potato. Cover and bring to a boil, then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add sautéed veggies to the pot along with cooked mushrooms and cooked and chopped sausages. Let simmer together for another 10 minutes.
6. Add the chopped cauliflower and kale, onions (green part only if using leeks), or any other greens you're using.
7. Add tomato paste to ½ cup of water and stir until it is dissolved and has the rich consistency of tomato sauce. Add to the pot.
8. Cover and let the flavors blend together by simmering on low heat for another 10 minutes.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can eat right away, but the flavor will be the best the next day.
10. Garnish with parsley.