People often ask me where in the world I come up with new recipes. I really have no good answer besides, “I dunno, I just make what I crave.” Which usually involves running to the grocery store. My most blog-worthy creations are not often born from what happens to be hanging around in the fridge, but this one was. Kale and apple looked a little lonely. Not to mention the fall breeze was begging me to put some soup on the stove.

And, I hadn’t yet had my daily dose of chia seeds.

That’s right, this aint your momma’s thick and creamy soup. There’s not a drop of dairy in site, and this soup gets its texture from an abundance of produce and a wholesome, raw seed known as chia.

If you thought chia was only for growing grassy pets, listen up! Chia is good for the body and spirit too. It’s the highest plant-based source of omega-3’s, the essential fatty acids that are most well known for lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. But wait, there’s more… more and more studies are showing the omega-3’s are also essential for brain function, having a positive impact on cognitive ability and mood. That means that by eating chia seeds regularly, we can possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improve our ability to focus, and become less stressed. Omega-3’s are also known to help with digestive and autoimmune disorders. Fact: my husband has psoriasis, and ever since he started eating chia every day, he no longer uses any medications or light treatments, and his skin looks better than ever.

So I hope you can see why I was eager to get my daily scoop of chia. I’m just not the same without it!

Just like a fall would not be the same without this soup. With a touch of sweet from the apple, packing in a serving of greens is all the merrier. Chia seeds, a natural thickener, make it extra thick and hearty and pack in additional fiber and antioxidants – combined with the nutritional power of kale and apples, this soup is a true veggie powerhouse! We opted for it in lieu of a veggie side with dinner one night, and it would also make a light and healthy first course or filling lunch.

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Creamy Kale and Apple Soup

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A hearty vegetable soup packed with fiber, antioxidants, and heart-healthy omega-3's.

Ingredients:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
1 sweet apple, peeled, cored and diced (such as Honeycrisp)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups (100gm) chopped kale
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Saute the onions, apple and garlic until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the broth and increase heat to high. Add the kale and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, until kale is tender. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Pour the soup into a blender or food processor. Add almond milk and seasonings, and blend until smooth. Add ground chia seeds and blend again. Return to pot over medium heat. Heat through and adjust seasonings to taste.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 180.7
Total Fat 6.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 273.0 mg
Potassium 387.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.7 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 11.3 g
Protein 5.3 g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com