Once again, Kale is making a showing in my kitchen. Yesterday, I juiced a bag of Kale with 1 bunch of spinach and 2 Apples. It was kind of vile (hahahahahaha), ok not kind of, it was VILE. Lol, but the colour was a shocking dark shade of green (pond water, a colleague called it), I just knew it would be good for me. I intend to juice Kale at least 3 – 4 times a week. Since I started making changes to my diet by incorporating more fruits and veggies, apparently, the changes to my body are now evident. I didn’t think it has until a colleague said my skin looks great, and I am glowing. No, not a male colleague, hehehehehe. Even my hair is much fuller than before. Viva la Kale. I will pinch my nose and down the chute it goes. If you haven’t joined the Kale brigade, I suggest you do. Apologies to my readers in Nigeria, Kale is a western vegetable, but my cousin Dedun told me it is now being sold at a store in Ikoyi.
After my success with Kale Riro (recipe HERE), which you need to try because a reader Njide, cooked it yesterday and sent in a picture. Wowzer, you need to see her bowl of Kale Riro. Absolutely beautiful. I shared it on twitter, Instagram and the Facebook Page. You need to see it. It was so heart warming to see her result, especially as this is the first time she was making Efo Riro. Again, Viva la Kale.
On the back of a great pot of Kale Riro for a meal drop off service, I decided to try it for another meal drop off service. This time with Oil less Okro soup. I could have added Palm Oil, but the recipient said she did not want it. Nevertheless, it was scrumptious. Kale is especially good in Okro soup, as you don’t need too much, and it will provide another dimension of crunch apart from the Okro. It is commonplace to use Ugu leaves in Okro soup, to provide some depth of texture to the soup. Kale even does it better. Combined with uziza leaves, match made in foodie heaven. Try it this weekend. Here’s how:
You will need
3 handfuls of Okro – chopped
1 small bunch of uziza
1 handful of kale
1 wrap of Ogiri – ogiri okpei
1 wrap of Iru – ogiri isi
2 – 3 pieces of ata rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
1 cooking spoon of ground crayfish
1. Boil and season the meats and stockfish, until tender and you have a strong-tasting stock. After which you add the wrap of Ogiri, roughly ground ata rodo and half the crayfish. Let these ingredients dissolve nicely in the stock. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: with ata rodo, I tend to use the yellow ones for white okro soup. As I like my food quite spicy, I use 3 pieces. If I want to introduce a little colour to the soup, I use 2 yellow pieces and one red piece. If you are going to use Palm oil, this is the stage to add it, so that it would dissolve well into the stock.
2. Once the stock is now tasting strongly of pepper, ogiri and crayfish, add the chopped okro and immediately lower the heat. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: you lower the heat to allow the okro cook slowly to absorb the flavour of the stock, without the okro turning mushy and brown. Overcooked okro has a yucky shade of brown, and slimy mushy texture. You don’t want that.
3. In about 2 minutes, you add the chopped uziza leaves. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: you are adding the uziza so early in the cooking process because you want the okro to also absorb its flavour. Overall you are not going to be cooking this soup for too long, so the earlier you add the rest of the ingredients, the better, so that everything would have rhymed perfectly before you take it off the heat.
4. After which you add the chopped Kale, Iru, the rest of the crayfish and stir. Let it cook for another 3 minutes, finish off with shredded smoked fish, give it another minute or so, and you are done.
…………………and that’s how to cook Kale Okro soup. See all the green popping out beautifully amongst the chopped okro? I also love the contrast with the dark colour of the Uziza leaves.
Especially for you guys. Pick one. First come, first serve. Eba or Amala, which would you serve with this?
This is Part 2 in a 4 part series using Kale in Nigerian cooking. I have another experiment to try tomorrow for my guests. Fingers crossed that I produce another winner.