Hello and happy new year! That was a much longer break than I intended to take.
Though I may be so late to my new years post that it’s no longer “fashionable”, I am forging ahead anyway. Besides loving any opportunity to start fresh–hellooo 2015!!—I have had a lot going on in my life and so feel like my lateness is completely warranted. Without getting into too many details, I will share with you that it has been a mix of both wonderfully joyful and heartbreakingly difficult circumstances, so the overall balance is hovering around neutral with dips into the highs and lows depending on what feels most present at the time. One of the great pieces of news that I have to share is that I’ve started a new job working as the Food Director for an online food market that focusses on organic, local, artisanal food. I’ll be developing the catalogue by bringing on new farmers and food artisans, doing some recipe development, their photography, and some marketing and communications. It’s a mix of things that I love doing and things I’m good at doing, and I couldn’t have asked for a better, more well-suited opportunity. (Sidenote: If you live in the GTA, you can check us out here. If you’re a local food producer, farmer, or chef and produce, raise, and/or grow food with organic principles in mind, please reach out. We’d love to see if there are ways that we can work together.)
I’ll leave the heartbreakingly difficult out of this post, because right now life is about finding vibrancy in the darkest nooks and crannies, like with this juice and this soup. Both are obviously vibrant in colour, but also coincidentally in nutrition and bold flavour. This soup happened by accident when I was finalizing some soup recipes for a class I’m teaching at Marni Wasserman’s Food Studio in February (more to come on that soon). I was in the mood for a something creamier, so decided to blend up what was in my pot. What came of it was this gorgeous green soup. I topped it with a little yogurt and some crispy kale for crunch, and I was in love. The lovely thing about this soup is that it’s a cinch to make (15-20 minutes, and it’s done). I hope you’ll give it a shot for a cold weeknight dinner, a little help keeping those new years resolutions, or just because you still love kale. To bump up your soup game, try adding these simple handmade gluten-free oat crackers to the mix. They will not disappoint!
I’ll be back at the end of the week with one last post on my love of turmeric before taking a bit of time away from the blog to move house, focus on my new job, and be more present for all the stuff that’s going on. I’m thrilled to tell you that there will still be a lot of action over here with regular weekly posts from some of my favourite bloggers. Oh, you might even like it better than when I’m here! It’s a sweet lineup: Sherrie from With Food + Love, Ashley from Edible Perspective, Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet, Beth from Tasty Yummies, Shelly from Vegetarian Ventures, and Ashley from Butterfly Food will all be here. It’s perhaps the most exciting time 80twenty’s history, so stay tuned! And in the meantime, eat some kale!
Kale and Potato Soup
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 more substantially
1 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lg Yukon Gold potato, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 tbs plus 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill, divided
A few sprigs of lemon thyme or regular thyme, tied together with some kitchen twine
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 1/4 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
4 cups water (or enough to cover everything)
6 Lacinato kale leaves, stems removed and the leaves sliced thinly
2 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped
1.5 – 2 tsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
Good quality yogurt or sour cream to serve, optional
In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium low heat. Toss in the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add in the sliced potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes until you feel they begin to stick to the pan. Add in 2 tbsp of chopped dill and stir to combine. Add in the thyme, peas, and salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 5-8 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add in the thinly sliced kale leaves and simmer for 2 minutes longer until the kale is tender, but still vibrantly green in colour. Transfer the soup to a blender along with the chopped parsley, white wine vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup of dill, and some pepper, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust with more vinegar, salt, and pepper, if necessary. Serve with a drizzle of yogurt or sour cream, if using, and a sprinkling of crispy kale (recipe below).
Salt and Vinegar Crispy Kale
4 large or 6 smaller lacinato kale leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Generous sprinkling of sea salt
While the soup is cooking, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Pull the stems off of the kale and thinly slice the leaves. Toss them with the olive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt. Spread the leaves evenly over a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside until soup is ready.
Handmade Gluten-Free Oat Crackers, 2 Ways
For the recipe for these simple, tasty crackers, head on over to BAKED.