Actually the winter is probably already here, it’s just not freezing yet. At least not here in the Netherlands. The winter is the best time of the year to enjoy soups and all sorts of comfort food. And by comfort food I don’t mean burgers, fries and ice cream! There are much healthier and very tasty ways to warm your soul with a meal. I will show you just two of them, that we enjoyed during the weekend and today.
Baked potatoes with kale/spinach
- 5-6 medium-sized potatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 package of frozen spinach or tons of fresh spinach and/or kale
- a bunch of chives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly, as you are going to cook them with the skins. If they are organic, even better.
- Pierce the potatoes with a fork a few times. I don’t know if they would explode otherwise, but everyone is doing it with baked potatoes, so…
- Bake them in the oven at 220 C for 1,5 hours. Read a book or do laundry or something in the meantime. Or take a nap. Naps are nice.
- Take the potatoes out of the oven and use a fork and knife to cut them to pieces in a baking pan. Add the olive oil and the greens. You can also use margarine, if you prefer a buttery taste.
- Add the garlic cloves, mashed, and the chives, finely chopped.
- Mix everything, add salt and pepper to taste and put back in the oven.
- Bake for another 30 minutes at 200-220 C
That is a great way to enjoy the skins of the potatoes and the taste of stuffed potatoes at the same time. You can substitute the spinach and kale with collard greens, nettles or dandelions, or any other green of your choice. I guess that onion slices and bell peppers would fit in there pretty nicely as well. I am going to try that out next time.
The second recipe is as simple as it gets really.
Pea soup with kale
- 1 package frozen peas. I like the big ones but here in the Netherlands it seems that people love their peas “extra fine” aka tiny.
- 3 carrots cut in slices (I don’t like carrots, but they give a nice color to the soup and you can always sneak them into your partner’s/friend’s/enemy’s bowl when you serve.
- 1-2 onions
- 2 big potatoes cut in cubes
- A bunch of dill
- The juice of 2 lemons
- A bowl full of finely chopped kale
- some vegetable stock
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a pot with about 3,5 liters water and add all the vegetables.
- Add the olive oil. Two tablespoons should be enough.
- Add the vegetable stock (about two tablespoons) and salt and pepper to taste
- Add the lemon juice and taste. Add more salt if needed.
- Boil for about 30′-45′, depending on how strong your stove is.
You can also add some nutritional yeast after serving, for a thicker texture. That is quite a traditional soup in Greece -minus the kale- even though most of the times people will cook peas with tomato sauce. Kale is rich in proteins and antioxidants that help boost your immune system, now that the winter is coming.
On a totally unrelated note, I know you are curious about how we partied this Saturday night, so here is a sneak preview of what I spend my whole evening doing: