What a Crock!: Popular kale makes for healthier soup _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Try Winter Bean and Kale Soup during the next cold snap.

If you check any of the social media sites when the weather turns cold, chances are you will find your friends cooking soups of one kind or another. The same can be said for any of the other social venues where friends gather.

A recent conversation with Donna Knight soon turned to a recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup that she and her husband had been enjoying. It came courtesy of a health insurance network publication, but after we spoke, I began looking at various kale soup recipes and soon had my own version of a white bean, kale and carrot soup.

Kale seems to be the go-to health food lately. Go to just about any store and look at the variety of kale products, including chips.

A member of the cabbage family, kale has become popular in health food circles due to its high vitamin content. Most research says to treat it much like spinach and discard the center stalk.

Store no longer than two to three days in the refrigerator, otherwise leaves can become limp and flavor may be stronger. It was, indeed, welcome during our cold winter days .

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.