Friday, March 7, 2014

Butternut Squash, Shiitake Mushrooms & Kale Soup

You are gonna love the taste of this immune-boosting soup. It's better than chicken soup, especially when you're feeling a bit under the weather. It's full of antioxidants and nutrients to help you fight disease—even cancer. While the flu season is still going, make up a batch to fortify your family.

I always have kale on hand as an ingredient for juicing or making smoothies. Don't eat kale you say. Then you need to read how healthy this lovely green vegetable is for you.

This soup calls for julienned kale, which means having it cut into small thin strips. Here's the quick way I do it:

Separate the leaf from the spine by cutting or a quick method is to rip the leaf from the spine—hold the spine and tear toward you. Don't worry about the small spine near the leaf top. I simply rip the top from the larger part of the leaf.

Make a nice stack of the leaves, orienting them in the same direction. While holding the stack with one hand, slice off narrow strips.
And there you have it. Julienned strips of kale ready for adding to soups or salads.

Butternut Squash with Shiitake Mushrooms & Kale Soup

from Whole Foods
yield 4-6 servings

category Soup
cuisine Asian

ingredients
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp olice oil
1 tsp turmeric
8-10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 C (32 oz) low sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 C julienned fresh kale
1 C cubed butternut squash
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp (or less) cayenne pepper (optional)
6 slices astragalus root (optional)
1 fresh lemon, juiced
1 tsp miso

directions
1. In a medium-size pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic and oil for 3 minutes. Add tumeric and mushrooms and saute 2 minutes.
2. Add broth, kale, squash and ginger (plus cayenne and astragalus if using). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat to cool slightly, then add lemon juice and miso (adding miso when too hot will diminish the probiotic benefits).
4. Cover and let sit another 5 minutes before serving.

What is your favorite way to use kale?