Beet and Kale Soup with Garlic, Bacon and Aji Limo

Is it a soup or …. a warm salad?
Get your spork out because you will need it!
 spoon + fork = spork!

Wow! Either way this is awesome! I didn’t know I liked beets but this will really get your appetite going!

I was just craving some natural deep, dark colors in my food.  I’m in need of some serious nutrients today! You can’t get more vibrant than beet red and dark green kale when it comes to vegetables.

Beet and Kale Soup with Garlic and Bacon
Serves 3-4
***Beware of staining when working or eating beets!

6-8 beets and greens
4-5 kale leaves
1/4 cup Spanish olive oil, plus a little more for the pan
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits
1/4 cup fig or plain Balsamic vinegar or red wine
Matiz sea salt with herbs
3 cups vegetable broth
Aji Limo, dried

Clean and cut the kale and beet greens into thin strips, put into a bowl and set aside.

Clean the beets and cut into slices and put into a metal bowl. 
Add the Balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of sea salt with herbs, one chopped up garlic clove to the beets. Mix well.


Use a large saute pan and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat to medium low and add the chopped garlic and bacon.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stir. 

Carefully add the kale and beet greens, and mix well. Caution, this will create some steam.  Let the greens cook down for about 5-8 minutes until the greens are soft and not stiff.  Add the vegetable broth.  You will begin to see  a red color in the sauce or broth from the beet greens.  Continue to cook down for 3-5 minutes.  Add the beet mixture and spread out all over the pan.  Cook for 10-12 minutes. 

Serve in bowls by adding some greens, beets and sauce to each bowl.  If you prefer a kick, add some Aji Limo on top with another pinch of herbed sea salt.  The Aji Limo will bring out the natural sweetness of the beets, enhance the flavors of the greens and finish with a spicy kick.  The textures are all there – crunch from the perfectly cooked beets, noodle-like from the greens and the silky, warm beet broth – the perfect concoction of flavors, just waiting to slurp down!

Serve before a main course or maybe as part of a multi-course meal.  It is the perfect way to get your appetite going with the sexy beet red and dark green for your eyes, the wafting aroma of the vegetables getting hot and steamy … traveling across the kitchen. Last but not least … taste … ooh la la!

The beets, kale and garlic were purchased at my local farmers market here on Bainbridge Island today.  I used fig Balsamic vinegar that added an amazing flavor to the combo of the beets and greens.  If you don’t have fig Balsamic then regular balsamic or red wine is perfectly fine. I highly recommend getting some good sea salts.  I love Matiz sea salts and as you know I use them all the time.  As for spice, I love love love my dried Aji! This is a must flavor in my the kitchen! Aji peppers are grown in Peru. There is nothing grown in America or Mexico like it!  Zócalo Gourmet imports dried Aji spices and pastes to the US so that we can experience more flavors from around the world. Please look at their web site for more info.

Enjoy!
Lisa

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