French Onion and Kale Soup

French Onion and Kale Soup (Vegan)
(No ramekin required)

I certainly embrace soup season, nothing like the comfort from a warm bowl of soup/stew. Soup is economical, and you can make endless variations of vegetable or bean soups. And we love cheap eats in our home – rice, and beans for days…lots of rice and beans. 😊 Historically, French onion soup was considered food of the poor, and these days we appreciate cost-effective dinners. It’s typically made with a meat/beef stock, but this veganized version uses a vegetable stock instead. One of the keys to success in preparation is caramelizing the onions. For the topping, I toasted slices of a baguette and topped it with a vegan smoked gouda cheese. Also, since my ramekins are packed away, I created this version that does not utilize them (plus many folks don’t have them). Enjoy! 

Vegan French Onion and Kale Soup

Ingredients:
1 Stick Earth Balance (vegan butter)
3 large Sweet Onions, sliced
3 Fresh Bay leaves
3-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp fresh Garlic, minced
3 bunches of Kale, stems removed and chopped finely
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Cup White Wine or Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning, optional (or use additional salt/pepper to taste)
For topping:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh French Baguette
Vegan Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart, Smoked Gouda)

Directions:
-In a large pot, heat the Earth Balance (butter) over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Cook the mixture for about five minutes until softened and the onions will become translucent.

-Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the onion mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically.
-Increase the heat to medium, remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes uncovered to allow for the onions to caramelize and become golden brown. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems before proceeding to the next step.

-Next, stir in the garlic, chopped kale, salt, pepper, and cook for about two minutes, before adding the white/cooking wine to deglaze the pot. Pour in the wine and be sure to scrap around the pot. Scrap the bottom to get up those brown caramelized bits, that were browning from the bottom. It’s all part of the deglazing process. Allow the wine to cook for about three minutes.

-Stir in the flour to thicken up the mixture. Then add the vegetable broth and heat to medium-high.
-Increase the heat back to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for another 20 minutes. Note: while the mixture is in the final 20 minutes of cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
-Slice up a baguette or other bread loaf. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt/pepper to taste before topping with a slice of cheese.
-Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and toast up the bread.

     Note: I only prepare the amount of bread/cheese needed to serve immediately.
-To serve: Ladle the soup in a bowl and top with the bread/cheese slices.

Enjoy!

Note: Traditionally French onion soup is typically served in a ramekin. If you do have a ramekin, serve the soup in that container and top with the bread/cheese and bake the entire ramekin in the oven during the final 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

French Onion and Kale Soup

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
1 Stick Earth Balance (vegan butter)
3 large Sweet Onions, sliced
3 Fresh Bay leaves
3-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp fresh Garlic, minced
3 bunches of Kale, stems removed and chopped finely
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Cup White Wine or Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning, optional (or use additional salt/pepper to taste)
For topping:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh French Baguette
Vegan Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart, Smoked Gouda)

Directions:
-In a large pot, heat the Earth Balance (butter) over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Cook the mixture for about five minutes until softened and the onions will become translucent.
-Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the onion mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically.
-Increase the heat to medium, remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes uncovered to allow for the onions to caramelize and become golden brown. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems before proceeding to the next step.
-Next, stir in the garlic, chopped kale, salt, pepper, and cook for about two minutes, before adding the white/cooking wine to deglaze the pot. Pour in the wine and be sure to scrap around the pot. Scrap the bottom to get up those brown caramelized bits, that were browning from the bottom. It’s all part of the deglazing process. Allow the wine to cook for about three minutes.
-Stir in the flour to thicken up the mixture. Then add the vegetable broth and heat to medium-high.
-Increase the heat back to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for another 20 minutes. Note: while the mixture is in the final 20 minutes of cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
-Slice up a baguette or other bread loaf. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt/pepper to taste before topping with a slice of cheese.
-Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and toast up the bread.
Note: I only prepare the amount of bread/cheese needed to serve immediately.
-To serve: Ladle the soup in a bowl and top with the bread/cheese slices.
Enjoy!

1 Peter 4:19

“Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

God, may you bless and always protect our sons. Thank you Lord for Cameron and Joshua. We recognize them not only on this National Son’s Day, but every day. Daily you occupy our hearts, prayers and thus our home. We love you gentlemen, and you are each truly a blessing to us. We are so proud of you both. Our love will endure forever. Love always.

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Salad

This salad is delicious and packed with protein, especially when you add the chickpeas.

While I was preparing to make the salad for dinner, I also cut up veggies for a morning juice. Sometimes it is easier to cut, wash and prep fruits and vegetables all at once for multiple uses, such as juicing or a salad or soup.

For the salad, I used a box grater to grate the carrots and apples. While I typically leave baby spinach whole, this time I chopped it up. Proportionally it worked better for me to chop the spinach and it makes for a beautiful presentation. I used a trail mix that we had on hand. Nuts are such a nutritious add to any salad. So, whatever you have available, throw it in! This recipe makes a great lunch, dinner, or side salad. I had this salad two ways, once without the chickpeas with apple cider vinegar as my dressing (it made for a good side salad). Then I had it with a creamier tahini dressing with the added chickpeas (which was great alone for dinner).

Enjoy!

Chopped Spinach & Quinoa Salad

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chopped Spinach & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
4 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
2 Large Carrots, grated
1 Large Apple, grated (I used a Honeycrisp)
1.5 cups cooked Quinoa
1/2 English Cucumber, diced
1 Cup Nuts / Nut mix or Trail mix (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries)
Chickpeas, optional (1 15oz can drained/rinsed)

Directions:
-Grate carrots and apples and set aside in a large mixing bowl. To this add the cooked quinoa, diced cucumbers and chopped spinach.
-Add chickpeas and desired mixed nuts.
-Top with your favorite dressing or add equal parts of oil and apple cider vinegar.
-Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a creamy tahini dressing.

Proverbs 31:25

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,

    and she laughs at the time to come.”