According to Mitchell on Modern Family (one of our favorite shows!), “Kale is the new spinach.” Kale is everywhere these days – pasta with kale, kale chips, and yes, kale smoothies. Kale is a superfood and it seems like everyone is starting to take notice. It is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. Why is it a superstar? According to WebMD:
“One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium oil, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.”
And let’s not forget sweet potatoes. They’re really great for you too! They are full of complex carbohydrates that keep you full and beta-carotene that keeps your skin smooth and fresh-looking. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in your body and switches on DNA that’s in charge of producing new skin cells and shedding old ones. Sweet potatoes also have a lot of fiber, potassium and Vitamin C.
While kale is on the “dirty dozen” list of the foods with high pesticide residue, it’s still relatively inexpensive organic. I bought this bunch of organic kale at the farmer’s market for just $2! And one bunch is actually quite large. We made this soup twice over the weekend and still have left over kale. And sweet potatoes you don’t necessarily need to purchase organic.
This soup is delicious, light, and incredibly healthy! Aside from roasting the sweet potatoes ahead of time, this soup doesn’t take long to make and pairs well with a side of crusty garlic bread!
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place cubed sweet potatoes in a baking pan or dish. Season with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a dutch oven over medium heat, warm some olive oil.
- Cook the chicken sausage until just browned.
- Add in onion and mushrooms and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add in garlic, thyme, coriander, some sea salt and black pepper. Stir in and cook for about 1 minute.
- Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Add in roasted sweet potatoes and kale.
- Push the kale down into the soup so it’s submerged. Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes, until bright green and tender.
You can use any type of sausage (or chorizo) for this soup. I usually go for the Jalapeno Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe’s. It comes fully cooked so the most I have to be concerned with it is the browning. I also like the heat the jalapenos add to the soup. I’ve also made this dish before using spicy Italian pork sausages; and it turned out equally well.
I prefer to cook this soup in a dutch oven versus a non-stick soup-pot because the caramelized bits from the sausage, onions and mushrooms will stick to the bottom of the dutch oven. And they won’t stick to a non-stick soup-pot surface. Then, when the chicken stock gets added it deglazes the bottom of the dutch oven so the bits get dissolved into the soup. It adds a rich depth of flavor to the broth.