Kale is having a moment. What was once a relic of peasant cooking and Victory gardens is now the darling of foodies everywhere who are finding out what grandma knew: kale is delicious and good for you.
This month's Eating Well magazine had some wonderful green soup recipes by Anna Thomas, the author of Vegitarian Epicure. I made the Basic Green Soup using kale instead of chard since the soup is designed to work with any combination of greens.
Another change I made was that I added the vegetable broth at the same time as the kale instead of at the end. Winter greens make a delicious pot liquor that brings a lot of flavor to the party, and I wanted time for it to meld with the vegetable broth. It just goes to show you: if you want to know about peasant food, ask a peasant.
The Foodie recently introduced me to shrubs, which are drinking vinegars. He says shrubs were developed as a way to take advantage of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar in a more palatable form. They are created by infusing the vinegar with flavoring such as fruit or vanilla bean, adding some sugar, and then mixing a little of the resulting syrup with club soda or tonic water.
I recently tried a shrub when The Foodie made a batch of rhubarb-raspberry syrup. The resulting beverage was delicious and surprisingly refreshing. Now, of course, I'm going to be mixing up shrubs like some kind of ruffled-apron-wearing mad scientist in a lab. If you want to try them too, you can find recipes here.