Gay Cook’s Mushroom Soup with Kale Pesto

Mushroom soup with Kale pestoGay Cookby Gay Cook

Kale is the new super food that has arrived in the markets. My family didn’t take to it at first but now it has been accepted. Several kale plants appeared in my garden which at first I thought was lettuce. Then I found out the seeds most like came from birds dropping the seeds. Kale is delicious in soups or made into pestos and added to soups, vegetables or salads. When cooked, kale softens and keeps its colour and does not wilt. 

Mushroom Soup with Kale Pesto        

Makes 4 to 5 servings

  •  2 tbsp (30 ml) butter or half vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, mashed by pressing with flat side of knife
  • 1 lb (500 g) brown button, Portobello and or shitake mushrooms 
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water or chicken stock
  • 1 medium potato, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine or dry sherry or water or stock
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) light or heavy cream optional
  1. In saucepan, melt the butter with or without oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, covered to sweat onions without browning about 3 minutes; add garlic during the last minute of cooking. Stir in mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes to release juices, stirring several times. Add stock, potatoes, wine and wine or sherry if using. Cook gently about 14 to 15 minutes.
  2. Puree the soup with hand-held blender or food processor just until mushrooms are in small bits and not a fine puree to give soup texture and flavour. Return soup to saucepan. Add cream if desired. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If soup is too thick add a little more liquid for the desired consistency.
  3. Serve soup in heated bowls. Make a rounded spoonful of kale pesto and gently place in the centre of each bowl of soup.

Kale Pesto

  • 5 to 6 large stems of fresh kale, washed, patted dry with towel
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) pine nuts or slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Fold each kale leaf lengthwise and cut away or pull away the long thick stem. Place the kale leaves in a food processor and process until leaves are well chopped. Add the garlic, oil, nuts and cheese and process until finely pureed. Add salt to taste.
  2. If the puree is too firm add a little more oil until the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise. Pour the mixture into containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for longer storage