Kale & cactus soup with poblano crema

Kale & cactus soup with poblano crema

By
From
Cantina
Serves
6
Photographer
Chris Middleton

This soup could open its very own health food store! Kale, currently so popular as a vitamin-packed super-food, is worth all the fuss afforded it. Likewise, cactus is worth all the fuss the Latin-American countries make about this unusual and versatile vegetable. It’s very low in kilojoules, packed full of antioxidants and high in vitamin A. However, the aloe vera-like texture is unfamiliar to most Western palates. If you can’t source fresh cactus, tinned or from a jar is fine. The poblano crema adds a lovely smoky note to the soup and the smashed corn (tortilla) chips and corn add texture.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80ml vegetable oil
3 onions, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
400g kale, stripped off the stems and shredded
250g tinned or cooked borlotti beans
250g cactus paddle, peeled, grilled and chopped
2 large handfuls oregano leaves
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, heated
200g english spinach leaves, washed
sea salt, to taste

Poblano crema

Quantity Ingredient
250g sour cream
95g tinned poblanos in adobo sauce
1 lime, finely grated zest and juiced
sea salt, to taste

Garnish

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
300g fresh corn kernels
sea salt, to taste
250g corn chips, smashed

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook the onion, garlic and spices until softened and fragrant. Add the kale, cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the beans, cactus and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the kale is well cooked. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted.
  3. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl – preferably stainless steel if you have one as it will help the soup to cool faster, retaining its green colour. Set the bowl over a larger bowl filled with iced water and stir to chill.
  4. To make the poblano crema, combine the sour cream, poblanos in adobo sauce and lime zest and juice in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Season with salt. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.
  5. For the garnish, heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook the corn for 2 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Return the soup to the pan and gently heat over medium–low heat, stirring frequently so it does not stick and burn.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls, top with a swirl of poblano crema, then scatter over the corn kernels and smashed corn chips to garnish.

Paul’s tip

  • This soup is also great served cold, perfect for a refreshing light lunch. Just thin it down with some vegetable stock and serve topped with thick chunks of avocado.
Tags:
Latin
Mexican
Mexico
Cantina
Paul Wilson
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