This summer, I spent a little while every Tuesday visiting our community garden. Somehow, despite a general lack of gardening knowledge, my friends and I managed to grow some monster kale.
Or, technically, dinosaur kale. Our kale has been great all summer, with our couple of plants growing great big curly leaves. It’s still going strong!
We have many plots in the garden, some where the gardeners were smart enough to plant flowers too. Our garden is right by a pond with a walking path around it, so the occasional onlooker comes over and on-looks. It’s a windy spot and we’ve had very little sun this summer, but the plants still grew – they were just primarily green.
Aside from kale, we did a great job growing masses of peas from seed. I generally don’t like peas – but fresh shelled peas are a revelation. It takes a lot of pods to get not too many peas, but they are worth it.
Martin and I made a pea and kale soup for tonight’s dinner, which was a tasty way to eat the little garden’s produce. It took ages to shell the peas… and then I measured them. Just one cup! To make up the next cup needed for the pea soup I used fava beans from our CSA bag, which, of course, need to be double-shelled (thank you internet). This soup takes some time.
Some carrots, onions, and garlic went into the soup, along with… cream cheese. See, when you live in Newfoundland, fancy things like Neufchatel aren’t kicking around the cheese section. If you live somewhere with Neufchatel though, it might be worth a try.
We ate the soup with some mashed green cauliflower and naan on the side. And it was really, really good.
Creamy Curried Pea Soup
Adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health
2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups fresh or frozen peas (optional: sub one cup of peas for fava beans)
3 cups fresh chopped kale, stems removed
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces Neufchatel or cream cheese
1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and turmeric. Add the broth and one cup of peas (note: if using fava beans, add them now). Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the kale, cilantro, black pepper and cheese. In a blender or in food processor puree the soup until very smooth. Stir in the remaining cup of peas and add salt to taste. Reheat gently on low heat - do not boil.
Serve with kale chips on top if you have tons of kale on your hands.