Kale, Potato, Lentil, Cauliflower... Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup

This is a little story of what happens when I decide to pull everything out of my refrigerator and start cooking.  Yesterday was just such a day, as the chill of autumn has descended upon us, I thought I would make soup.  Since I had cauliflower I was figuring on making my old standby (and very first blog post) Faux Creamy Cauliflower Soup.  Alas, and I will say thankfully,  I opted to go back to my roots of not repeating recipes too often but instead exploring new territories.  

As I've said before, when I go shopping I buy what looks fresh without necessarily having a plan for how to cook them. Such was the case during last week's shop.  As I took these ingredients out and placed them on my board, my first thought was to make separate dishes with each.

 Here's what I found:  Cauliflower, Kale, French Lentils, Fingerling Potatoes, Red Onion and Garlic

Here's what I found:  Cauliflower, Kale, French Lentils, Fingerling Potatoes, Red Onion and Garlic

And because the original plan was individual dishes and use the cauliflower for soup, that soup idea grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let go.  It was just then when the it dawned on me that EVERYTHING I had could indeed be SOUP. Now here's the triple play of culinary delights:  
I didn't have to make separate dishes.
I was still sticking to my original idea of soup.
Plus the big bonus of throwing it all together...  ONE POT!

I had to think this one through to make sure that I cooked this one in the correct stages without having to switch pots.  Also fair warning for this recipe, I won't be giving amounts as this one really harkens back to my something from nothing style.  Use what you have in the quantities you have.

ingredients

Cauliflower
Kale (chopped)
French Lentils
Fingerling Potatoes (cut in bite size pieces)
Red onion (cut in small pieces)
Garlic
Magic 3 (Oil, Salt, Pepper)

Instructions

I started out as if I were making the cauliflower soup (click on the link for recipe reference) but cut the onions small since these were not going to be blended up but in fact be a supporting player in the soup.

When the cauliflower was about cooked about ¾ done, I added the potatoes pieces and lentils. 

Once everything was tender, I pulled out about half of the cauliflower because I didn’t think the soup needed that much cauliflower.  I figured I would blend up the removed portion and still have faux creamy cauliflower soup.   Then I realized that adding some of that back into this soup would add thickness and richness. (But by that time I ate some I only had about 2/3 cup to add to the main soup. Add as much or as little as you want to achieve a 'creaminess' level of your liking.)

 I then added the kale, checked for seasoning and turned the heat off.  The soup is warm enough at this point to wilt the kale.

This came out hearty and earthy and a really lovely blend of a handful of odd and ends from my fridge.  So, let’s recap.  You can follow this recipe as I stated.  Or you can look through your kitchen and create a soup out of what you have.  Here are some ideas for replacement options for the ones I used.

other potential leading characters

Kale = spinach, escarole, mustard greens
Cauliflower =  broccoli, cabbage
Potato = sweet potato, turnip, yucca
Lentil =  chick peas, cannellini beans

Well, you get the idea.  Try my version or play around with any of the above suggestions to make your own version of the “Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup”.  Falling into the crispness of this season isn’t so bad when you can be warmed by a soup like this.  

Footnote:  As you can see this made a nice big pot of soup which left enough for the next day.  I made jasmine rice and added it to the day old soup.  Yup, it made it even yummier.