John D. Ivanko
July 24, 2013

A kale soup is a great alternative to salad or stir-fry for using up the season's kale harvest. Photo by John D. Ivanko/ (
Photo by John D. Ivanko/
A kale soup is a great alternative to salad or stir-fry for using up the season’s kale harvest.

The T-shirt says it all: Eat More Kale. Between soaks and hikes at Breitenbush Hot Springs, we kept crossing paths with Chad, a community member on the food-service team who regularly turned out delicious vegetarian meals. One of his kitchen collaborators, Noah Wood, created a recipe for Kale Leek Soup we found so tasty we wish we could have frozen some to take back to our farm.

Chad and John wear their affinity for leafy greens on their T-shirts. Photo courtesy Breitenbush Community (
Courtesy Breitenbush Community
Chad and John wear their affinity for leafy greens on their T-shirts.

Instead, we managed to get him to agree to share his recipe so we can use our own kale, leeks, onions and garlic. The sweetness of the leeks and onions complement the flavors of the super-nutritious kale. Striving to keep their ingredients as local as possible, Breitenbush Hot Springs secures kale and other ingredients from Rainshine Family Farm and Denison Farms, both in Corvallis, Ore., among other sources.

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There’s no hiding it: This is a richly deep-green soup, but one spoonful will have you coming back for seconds. We couldn’t think of another item served by the kitchen crew that more reflected the simplistic and balanced nature of the Breitenbush Hot Springs, both the community and environs. It’s a nice departure, too, from savoring kale sautéed or in a salad.

Recipe: Kale Leek Soup

Yield: 4 to 5 servings


  • 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6 cups fresh kale, stems removed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 T. white wine
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper

In soup pot, sauté onion and leek in 3 tablespoons olive oil until soft. Add garlic, and cook until soft.

In separate pan , heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add kale and cook until edges sear, about 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add to onion, leek and garlic. Add vegetable broth, and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mix cooked ingredients in blender on low, slowly increasing speed to high, until smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour back into soup pot and add white wine. Heat 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, add lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Mix well.

Serve immediately, perhaps topped with a few croutons.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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