Heat oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add garlic, red bell pepper, jalapeño (if using), carrots, celery, and cornmeal and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until onions and peppers are soft and fragrant.
Add broth, kale, bay leaf, rosemary, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until soup is slightly thickened and kale is tender.
Ladle soup into four bowls. If desired, sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese.
You’ve Got Options
You can use 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes in place of the jalapeño.
For the cornmeal, substitute the same amount of rolled oats, bulgur, white rice, or barley, but keep in mind that they may thicken the soup more than cornmeal would.
Makes 4 Servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin avocado oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, white and tender green parts, chopped (see options)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (optional; see options)
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
¼ cup cornmeal (see options)
5 cups vegetable broth
2 kale leaves, ribs removed, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup vegan parmesan cheese
From “The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between” by Reducetarian Foundation (Center Street, $21.99). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.