One might find it strange to be making so many soups for the summer. If you’re expecting hearty, steamy soups it probably is strange, but those aren’t really what I’m aiming for.
I was in the mood for something with black beans and just making a big hot pot of them didn’t really seem interesting enough. Then, someone mentioned roasted corn and it got me thinking about that as well. Later, I got home and there was fresh kale in the fridge and my immediate thought was Caldo Verde but like the beans just didn’t seem right for the weather either.
Then, it hit me. I could use the idea behind Portuguese green soup mixed with a concept similar to Iberian gezpacho and basically just throw everything into a pot and see what happened. Needless to say, as you would expect, it was a rummage through the pantry to see what came out, thus what some would perceive to be interesting choices in the recipe.
I served the dish cooled, but it tasted very good warm while I was checking it along the way as well. I also realized after that I could make for a bit of a “green salsa” type concoction too, just grab some chips and start dipping in lue of a spoon. Or, use it as a garnish, like I did the following morning when I spooned it over my fritatta. There’s something to be said for a swiss army knife type of dish.
As always, the kale could be whatever dark, leafy green you like (spinach, collard, etc.) and same with the onion (as usual, there was red onion here but vadalia or white is good too) and bell pepper (we had green, but any color should work, or I think I’d personally prefer a poblano or cubanele actually). These veggies in my case were raw, however, if you have the means you could roast them all before combining. I think this would probably add a lot to the complexity of the flavor profile, but we don’t have access to an outside grill and cranking the oven to 500 in order to roast things was not on the menu!
The wheat berry / flax seed flour, for example, happened because I thought we had left over bread to use as a thickener but I forgot I’d already made a sandwich out of it. We didn’t have any multi grain flour left and the white flour there’s just enough of for baking cupcakes which means it’s off limits in case there’s a cup cake emergency to be resolved. Therefore I made my own flour for the roux which would lend a bit of a different flavor profile to the dish.
As you can see, I’ve left it pretty devoid of spices. Believe it or not I liked it out of the pot without anything extra. I did end up adding to it a smoked piri piri powder at the table and it was solid as a garnish.
black beans (prepared)
wheat berries (or brown rice)
apple cider vinegar
cracked black pepper
two stock pots
cast iron skillet
Salt water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil
Wash the spinach/kale separate the large leaves from the smaller ones
Cut the stems out out of the large leaves and place them in the salted water, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for a minimum of 25 minutes to create a stock while you do the rest of the prep
Retain all of the rest of the kale leaves
In the food processor pulse the uncooked wheat berries (or uncooked brown rice) and flax seeds (about a 4 or 5:1 ratio) to as fine a powder as you can make
Combine the processed berries and flax with about equal parts oil in the second large stock pot and simmer over low heat, this is similar to making a roux but with homemade wheat berry flour
Roast the corn, remove from the cob and hold
Coarsely chop the onion, pepper, celery and garlic
Blend in the food processor the large leaves of kale with the chopped the onion, pepper, celery and garlic plus salt and pepper along with some of stock (cooled down outside of your simmering first stock pot!) until the mixture is about the consistency of a fresh pesto
Add the processed veggies to the second stock pot that has the roux
Add a 3 or 4:1 mixture of fresh stock to cider vinegar. There should be just enough liquid to barely cover the veggie mixture
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer slightly covered 10-15 minutes. don’t allow the liquid level to reduce too much, add additional stock from the first stock pot as necessary
Drain the beans and add to the stock pot that has the soup base
Add the roasted corn to the pot that has the soup base
Julienne the smaller leaves of kale and add them to the pot that has the soup base
re-season with salt and pepper as necessary and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes