Sunday, April 23, 2006

Low Carb Sides - Mushroom and Kale Soup

(As stated here, I'm cooking low carb, healthy meals from George Stella's low carb cookbook, Eating Stella Style,until I reach my target weight of 128 pounds.)
I couIda' done this without George. I make soups all the time - on the fly, off the top of my head, with what's in the fridge and pantry. I'm somewhat famous for my soups and it's hard to credit someone else when I make up a batch. But I have to admit that the recipe I'm about to give you was inspired by George Stella's low carb cookbook, Eating Stella Style. Sometimes just a hint of inspiration, a whiff really, is all one needs to take off with what ingredients are at hand. While this isn't the prettiest soup on the block, it's low carb, low calorie, delicious, wonderfully healthy, filling and easy to prepare.

Mushroom Kale Soup
1-2 tablespoons Smart Balance for cooking
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems on, sliced
1/4 cup Texas sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon or less kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, such as Tellicherry
28-30 ounces fat free, low sodium chicken broth (store bought or your own)
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
1 large bunch kale, stem ends trimmed, sliced across leaves to make strips (makes about 4 cups)
1/2 cup fat free 1/2 & 1/2 such as Land O' Lakes

Over medium heat, melt butter in large, heavy pot then add mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until soft and tender. Add broth and vermouth and increase heat to high to reduce liquid slightly. Add kale and cook until tender but still green.
Lower the heat to medium, stir in the 1/2 & 1/2 and warm gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve.

Alternatively, a la George's suggestion, you can puree half of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot thereby thickening it somewhat. I like my soup more rustic, brothy and chunky.

To add more protein and make this a main meal, add some diced, cooked, leftover chicken to this soup.

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