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Useful Plants Series – Kale incl. Recipe

If you like cabbage, kale is a must have in your garden. It is very tender, healthy and full of minerals. There are a lot of different varieties of kale. Some of the most popular ones are red Russian kale and Black Tuscany (also known as Dinosaur kale or Nero). The key advantage is that kale never forms a head like cabbage, so you can harvest the leaves as the plant matures and as you need it. We have grown kale for a few years now and we don’t miss cabbage one bit. All kale makes for great recipes like soup or satay. Recipe below.

Kale is in the Brassica family, therefore it’s biennial and will flower in the second year to produce seeds. This makes for early spring insect food. It will happily overwinter after the first years growth and the leaves make for good winter greens.

Portuguese kale is also known as walking stick kale. It is perennial and therefore you can harvest leaves off it for years to come. Don’t harvest more than 25% of the plant at any one time same as rhubarb to give the plant a chance to recover. If you manage to grow the main stem straight it will turn into a unique walking stick, hence the name.

Recipe – Portuguese Kale Soup:

Chef Keith Snow has a great recipe in the video below. Here’s our quick version of it:

Ingredients: 5 large OR 10 medium size Portuguese kale leaves, Spicy Spanish Chorizo, 500grams of potatoes, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, a good quality sunflower oil.

  1. Cut Chorizo into small cubes and render by frying in a pan for 5 minutes and drain fat by emptying pan onto some kitchen tissues.
  2. Thinly cut garlic and onion and fry in oil in a large pot.
  3. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and add half of them to the pot with about a liter of water.
  4. Slice kale without stalks and add to pot along with some salt, nutmeg and black pepper five minutes after the water starts boiling.
  5. Five minutes after adding kale blend the soup with a stick mixer.
  6. Add the rest of the potatoes and all of the rendered chorizo.
  7. Simmer on low heat and stir every minutes until potato cubes have gone soft.
  8. Serve with fresh toasted bread.