I'm thrilled to partner with my friends at Garden Fresh Gourmet® to bring you easy, fun holiday ideas using some of my favorite Garden Fresh Gourmet soups. To kick things off, here is an easy and clever way to transform Garden Fresh Gourmet® Chicken Noodle with Kale soup into a showstopper on your holiday table. Flash fried kale leaves become beautiful, stained glass-like soup toppers in just a few minutes. Finish with fine sea salt and serve floating atop an elegant china bowl of piping hot chicken noodle soup. They're like magical little Christmas trees to delight your guests. I prefer shallow frying in a Dutch oven. You can also bake in the oven for similar effect (see steps below main recipe).
COOK'S NOTE: Thoroughly dry the kale before frying – water will make the hot oil splatter.
- 2 24 oz. containers of Garden Fresh Gourmet® Chicken Noodle with Kale Soup
- 1 bunch fresh purple or green kale (about 1½ pounds), thoroughly washed & dried
- 5-6 cups vegetable or canola oil (or more depending on the size of your pot)
- Sea salt to taste
Place the Garden Fresh Gourmet Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale in a medium to large sauce pan and heat on medium-high until a low boil, 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut off the woody stem ends of the kale using a sharp chef's knife and discard. Starting at the top of the kale, slice into two inches segments. Reserve the pointed tops (they're your crispy Christmas trees). Cut the remaining segments into 2"x2" pieces – or tear by hand for more free-form pieces.
Place the oil in a Dutch oven. Heat on high 1-2 minutes until hot. Test to see if the oil is ready for frying by placing one piece of kale in the oil. If it bubbles up immediately, it's ready. If not, heat for another minute.
Fry the kale in small batches – 4-5 handfuls usually work for one bunch of kale. Drop the kale in the hot oil and fry 1½-2 minutes until the leaves turn glassy or translucent. Remove immediately from the pot using a slotted spoon or spider and place on several layers of paper towel to wick away the grease. Sprinkle lightly with the sea salt. NOTE: The oil may drop in temperature after the third batch. Turn the heat back to high for a minute and then continue to fry the remaining batches.
Ladle the soup into a medium sized soup terrine or individual bowls. Float the crispy kale leaves on top.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Lay the kale leaves evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place on the center rack of the oven. Bake until crispy and the edges are slightly brown, 12-15 minutes.