Tag Archives: potato

recipe: spicy kale soup (with potato, lentil and tomato)

Granted, the term winter, in Northern Baja, should really be called ‘winter’ compared with many parts of the northern hemisphere during this time. That acknowledged, it is still the time for growing ‘winter vegetables’ – among them, kale, which seems to do quite well amidst the challenges of my rocky, nutrient-deprived soil.



So, I’m often looking for new ways to use said kale, since I tend to have an abundance of it. With a bit of help from my good friend google, I came across this recipe for Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup, which I modified somewhat. It was, I have to say, surprisingly delicious.

Spicy Kale Soup (with potato and tomato)

1 onion, thinly sliced4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
A bit of oil
A bit of red wine
1 stalk of celery, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 small bowl full of sun dried tomatoes, re hydrated, with their juice (I did not have a can of tomatoes as the original recipe called for, so I used the sundried garden tomatoes that I had, soaked in boiling water – they added a nice flavor. But, if you have actual tomatoes, or a can of tomatoes, use what you’ve got.)
A bit of chipolte salsa (I used Herdez)
2-3 cups of vegetable broth, or, lacking vegetable broth, water
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup diced potatoes
1 big bunch of kale, thinly sliced – use amounts to your taste

Saute the onion in the oil, adding garlic after about 5-6 minutes. If it begins to dry, add some red wine so that it doesn’t stick. After the onions and garlic become soft, add all the spices, and a bit more wine, to keep it from sticking. Add the celery. Add the salsa, to taste.
After a few minutes, add the tomatoes, lentils, potatoes and water/broth. Bring to a boil. Then simmer until the potatoes and lentils soften – about 20-25 minutes.
When it is just about ready, add the kale, stirring it in to soften it.

Serve in a bowl with grated Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese. It is also nice over rice.



fly by the seat of your pants chile rellenos

I guess it started when I bought the poblano chile at the local La Mision fruit and vegetable market. I’ve been wanting to try making chile rellenos for a while now, and I figured the first step would be to actually buy the chile. Not wanting to be crazy, I only bought one.

Note to self: next time if you’re going to go to all the effort, it might be nice to have more than one chile.

I decided that tonight would be the night I’d try it out. I did have a recipe, from Cocina del La Familia a Mexican American cookbook given to me by a friend many years ago. But I’m not one to follow recipes when I can get away with making it up as I go along.

I happened to have a potato, calabasita (squash), some cilantro, onion and mushrooms, so I decided that would make up the ‘sauce.’ The only cheese I had of a melting variety was string cheese, which actually worked quite well. The only part I needed to consult the recipe for was what to do with the chile itself.

The bottom line? The one chile relleno that I made was amazing. So, I’m trying to write down what I did before I forget it.

The Sauce:

  • A bit of oil
  • 1 potato
  • 1/2 white onion
  • About 1/2 cup of corn
  • 1/4 bunch chopped cilantro
  • Tomato sauce (the real thing, not pasta sauce)
  • Mushrooms, quartered and sauteed
  • Squash, diced
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Pinch of coriander
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch of garlic salt
  • pinch of oregano
  • teaspoon or more of chipolte paste

Heat the oil, add the onion. After a few minutes, add all the spices. Then add the potato. Stir it around. Add the tomato sauce, so it is ‘saucy’ and doesn’t stick. Add the corn. Add the mushrooms. Add the cilantro. It’s done when the stuff is cooked.

The chile:

  • Poblano chiles
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Meltable cheese
  • Oil

Put the chile over an open gas stove flame. Turn it with tongs until the skin is blackened. Let it cool. Remove the blackened skin (good luck). Slit the side of the chile and get the seeds out. Put in the cheese.  Heat a skillet of oil. Coat the chile in flour, mixed with a bit of salt and pepper. Beat one egg per chile or two. Coat the floured chile in the egg. When the oil is hot, put the chile in by its stem. Let it fry until the bottom side is browned, then turn it over.

When the chile is done, put it on a paper towel to remove the excess oil.

Put the chile on a plate and cover with the sauce mixture. Enjoy.