leafy green thing reveal: the soup.

last night's kale, potato and chickpea soup turned out to be superdelish, and although i don't "do" recipes, here's everything that went into the pot:

1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
2 small yellow potatoes, cubed
two stalks of kale - the stalk is very bitter! just tear off small pieces of leaves and drop them right into the soup!
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

now, when i cook, i generally just season things to taste, so i can't provide precise measurements of anything, but here are the spices i used:

in a small saucepan, i made a sort of paste out of the following spices, by mixing with a small amount of heated olive oil (if your pasty-mixture gets too thick, add a splash of water or broth from your soup): tumeric, cumin, smoked paprika, curry powder and small amounts of ginger and cinnamon. after mixing the paste into the broth, i realized that my soup still wasn't quite there, so i made another batch of paste to mix in. when working without strict recipes, it is best to err on the side of caution; you can always add more cumin to your dish, but you can't take away a too-generous dose of hot mustard powder (been there, done that and holy shit does it ruin a dish). also, you don't need no stinkin recipes, people! trust your palate and taste your food - it's the only way you'll improve your palate, and it takes all of the ugh-boring-precise-scienceness out of cooking, which should be all about fun with great tasting food and whatever-fits-your-budget wine!

the final important factor in balancing out this soup's flavor was a simple one that works wonders to add a needed layer of complexity to many dishes made with big bold spices like these - you need some acid, y'alll! of course, i'm not talking tune in, turn on and drop out style stuff here, i mean nothing more complicated than a plain ole lemon. lemon juice does amazing things - it cools heat, it lifts smoky, heavy flavors and it is an essential ingredient in my kitchen pretty much anytime anyone lets me near the tumeric.

more soup related tips and recipes will be popping up soon - what kind of soup do YOU want to know how to make?

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