Peasant Food

22 01 2010

As Mason and I were eating some delicious leftover turnip, potato, and kale soup for dinner today, I had an epiphany:  We love peasant food!  Apparently, we aren’t the only ones.  This evening when I Googled the term “peasant food,” the fourth hit was actually another WordPress blog posting that summarizes pretty well what I would say about  the matter …   What we call “peasant food” is great because it’s cheap, healthy, filling, and tasty, and much of it can easily be acquired locally, seasonally, and organically grown.  Of course, my soup was the product of ingredients purchased at Whole Paycheck in this particular case, so who knows exactly where the the ingredients came from (although I can attest that they were labeled “organic”).  But it is, at its core, peasant food.  As are many other staples of our regular diet:  beans and rice, veggie quesadillas, pasta with homemade tomato sauce and whatever veggies are in the fridge, various stews and soups that usually involve some meat or meat broth or stock for flavor but mainly consist of vegetables and grains, and basic breads.

But, here’s the thing about peasant food.  It’s not usually that pretty.  And here’s the other thing I realized.  I rarely feel as though what we cook on a daily basis is appropriate for company, even if it’s delicious!  I guess that’s how you know you’re really dealing with peasant food.  So, if you want to come over to try my peasant food, let me know; if I invite you and you don’t say anything, I’ll be cooking upscale for company.

Turnip, Potato, and Kale Soup

Adjust amounts and types of ingredients based on your tastes and what you have on hand!

Happy Masher with soup on his face

2 Tbsps olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 bunch kale, stems and leaves separated and chopped
6 large turnips, diced
12 small-medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
8 cups chicken broth
4 cups water

Sweat onions in large pot with olive oil until translucent.  Add kale stems and cook for 4 more minutes, stirring as needed.  Add turnips, potatoes, broth, and water, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are soft.  Salt and pepper as needed.

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