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Roasted Vegetable and Kale Soup

We are a family of 6.  6 people ranging in age from 11 to 92; with a taste preference just as wide as the age gaps.  In all honesty I am NOT a planner!  More days than not I open the fridge at 4 to figure out what we will be having for dinner at 5:30.  Probably not the best way to plan dinner for 1 celiac vegetarian, a non-chicken eater, and 2 lactose intolerants! Drives dear hubby crazy!  Thus as I head into the farmers market I have no idea what I am looking for.  Hoping inspiration will hit and then I WILL know what’s for supper before I need to get cooking!

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Vegetables perfect for roasting.

Deal of the day!  My first find: a bag full of sweet peppers that have seen better days.  With a few soft spots but mostly firm they are perfect for roasting and are a deal at $1 for the entire bag.  Yay!  Looks like the beginning of a delicious roasted pepper soup.  The day is bright yet a bit on the cool side so this family favorite is a good fit.  My daughter loves kale and I love the healthy aspect of this leafy green so when I see this fresh bunch for $0.75 I grab it.  Last thing we need a giant sweet potato, or a couple small ones 🙂

Why I Love Red Peppers!

This is the one pepper I don’t mind cooking.  Eaten fresh the satisfying crunch and their sweet yet tangy flavour is irresistible.  Sauted every so quickly adds a depth of flavor to any meal.  But roasting!  Ahh roasting red peppers.  There’s something so appealing , sexy even, about the roasted pepper.

Stress.  We all have it, we spend hours a day trying to get rid of it.  Doesn’t this make it worse?  (I’ll leave this topic for another post)  Thus if you don’t want to worry about the amount of worry you have, or may not have, eat some peppers!  Seriously though; I think this is perhaps the most appealing characteristic of the sweet bell.    The antioxidant levels!

Red peppers in  particular offer numerous antioxidants that fight free radical damage to the body.  In 2008 Oboh and Rocha showed us that this antioxidant ability of the red bell pepper has protective effects on brain cells!  Who doesn’t want to protect the brain?  Another study showed us that the phenolic extract from the red bell pepper may be helpful in preventing oxidative stress related diseases. In 2013 Shotorbani, Jamei and Heidari discussed how heat effects the antioxidant levels the red bell.  Result: it does, however the amount of heating, levels of heating and the variety of the pepper determine by how much the antioxidant levels vary.  In the end?  All red bell peppers; cooked or not have positive effects on the body.  All peppers and each variation of preparation offer us some antioxidative protection.  So no excuses not to enjoy this nutrient packed fruit!

Soup Time!

Easy to prepare, I often make this soup ahead of time so that the flavours have time to mingle.  Of course it is delicious right away too!

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Kale is de-spined and diced: ready and waiting!

What you will need:

  1. 3 Large Red Bell Peppers (or a basket full of small ones)

  2. 1 Bud Garlic

  3. 1 Large Sweet Potato (or 2 small), peeled, and cubed

  4. 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil, melted

  5. 1 Small Bunch of Kale, despined and finely chopped

  6. 1 Inch Chunk of Fresh Ginger, finely grated

  7. 4 Cups of Chicken or Vegetable Stock

  8. 1/4 Cup Quinoa

  9. 1 Can Coconut Milk

  10. Salt and Pepper to taste

How to Prepare the Soup

Peel and cut sweet potato into small chunks about 1 inch cubes.

Clean the red peppers removing seeds and cut into large chunks.

Smash the garlic and remove skins.

Toss these vegetables into a roasting pan and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil.  Roast in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile prepare the stock!  Grate the 1-inch piece of Ginger into the pot and add all the stock.

When the vegetables are done in the oven transfer them into the pot of stock.

Grab your trusty immersion blender and blend until smooth.

Once blended turn on the stove to medium-low heat and bring to a slow boil.  Add in the 1/4 cup of quinoa and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.

5 minutes before you are ready to serve add in diced kale, season with salt and pepper to your liking.  Let the soup return to a boil then turn off, stir in the coconut milk and serve!

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Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup with Kale and Quinoa

Tip:  If the soup is too thick you can add in some water or extra broth to achieve desired consistency.

I like to keep the kale spines to be juiced!  I am always amazed at the amount of liquid that comes out of these spines!  Add in a carrot, a chunk of ginger and half a lemon for a delicious and nutritious vegie juice.

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