Saturday, October 25, 2014

Winter Power Soup with Kale and Cranberries

I love to make soup.  I will make soup out of anything.  But, the basics I learned from my Mom.  Today, is a very pleasant fall day with sunshine after several days of gloomy rainy days.  Tomorrow, it will get chilly and so I thought I would make a power soup. 

To make a good base/stock for beef based soups, use beef marrow bones.  I sometimes use soup bones too.  For the Kale soup, I started with beef marrow bones and cold water.  You can let the bones set in the water for up to an hour, but I didn't want to do that today. Supposedly, it extracts the flavor even more.

So, I added water to the marrow bones enough to cover over about an inch.  I used a large stock pot and three good of the bones.  You can find these in the meat section of your local grocery or supermarket.  If you are lucky to have an old-fashioned butcher close by, ask and they will get them for you.

I let this come to a boil, then turned to simmer for about two hours.  You want it to cook down which will enhance the flavor.  Then, added onions, peppers, kale and cranberries.  I will strain or put through the Foley Food Mill, as I want it for a broth.  If you want more than broth, you can add chopped cranberries, carrots, potatoes or any vegetable you would like after you strain and then cook for 45 minutes to an hour.    The cranberries I think add a nice sweet/tartness.

There is little fat, so nothing to skim off the top when cooled, but f you want to clarify, you can skim the foam as it cooks. Refrigerate overnight and what fat there is will harden at the top and you can just scoop it off and discard before heating.  The flavors will marry overnight.

Last week, I made a similar version, but with pork and cooked in the crock pot rather than the stove top.

To any of these soups, you can add to your taste about any vegetable.  I think this would work well with adding cooked rice, and perhaps cubes of squash.  For the pork soup, I used celery and brussel sprouts.  After it was done, I cooked ditalini and tubetti pasta, added it to the soup along with tomatoes.  You can use a little tomato sauce or add peeled and stewed tomatoes.  Then, I pack in mason jars in the fridge for work and/or evening suppers.  It's great to try new things on old basic recipes.  Give it a try, let us know if you have new variations. 

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