Once, when a friend of mine claimed to have contracted the Hanta virus, his girlfriend made him some spicy kale soup as a cure. (Who knew?) So when I felt a flicker of a cold, I went straight to the garden to cut some kale.
My version didn't turn out too spicy (why, oh why don't I own any Sriracha??), but it was dang good. And M. improved it by serving it over Pepper Jack Polenta.
A few days later, and I am feelin' fine! So next time you are jet lagged and sick, give it a whirl.
Spicy Chicken Kale Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
One yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
5 celery ribs, diced
5 small red-skinned potatoes, chopped into 1/2" cubes
2 bay leaves
your choice of spices: thyme, oregano, rosemary
4-5 cups chicken stock
1 chicken breast
2-3 cups kale, chopped
salt and pepper
prepared polenta (recipe below)
In a large pan or dutch oven, sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil, until translucent.
Add celery and sautee a few minutes more. Add carrots and keep sautéing! Add two bay leaves and assorted spices (thyme, oregano, rosemary, to your liking).
Stir in 1 c. chicken broth or stock (canned, homemade, made from boullion, whatever) and deglaze the pan (melt and scrape up all the flavorful brown goodness on the bottom).
Add 3-4 cups chicken stock, chopped potatoes, and a chicken breast. Bring to a boil. Remove breast when almost cooked through, shred with a fork and add back to the soup.
Add lots of chopped kale! Cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a mound of polenta with lots of Sriracha.
Cook polenta according to package directions - add more water if you want the polenta to cook up firmer. Constantly stir the polenta while simmering, much like a risotto. Add some shredded or cubed pepper jack cheese, and serve.
Serve warm if you like (will be more grits-like) or pour into a pie pan and let set up in the fridge. Cut into wedges and reheat by frying in a pan. Makes a delicious crispy outside.