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Andalusian recipes, travel, and design

Tag: Kale

Cream of Swede (Rutabaga) & Turnip Soup with Kale-Cashew Pesto & Scallops

Living in the United Kingdom gives me the possibility of exploring the countries which are part of it, enjoy the unique opportunity of experiencing London as a local, and also have the chance to try what for me are new vegetables and fruits… quite a comparison contrast, but all three are high up on my list.


For me, trying new food is always interesting and fun. Such has been the case with the swede, or rutabaga. Before arriving in England, I believe I had never even seen or heard of it. In fact, I remember the first time my husband, who many times does the shopping, brought it home. I had to take a picture of it and send it to a friend, who had already been living here longer and is an avid gardener and foodie, to see if she knew what this strange white and purplish thing sitting on my counter was!


The inspiration for this recipe came to me last night, as I was trying to fall asleep… I am starting to feel slightly obsessed! 😉 This actually has an explanation that is more logical: the turnips were starting to go soft and I needed to use them. So what better than a creamy soup for a chilly and wet day?


I purposely kept the soup’s flavour a bit neutral, not adding too many spices so that it would pair well with the kale-cashew pesto I had planned. The addition of the scallops came a bit later to me, as I wanted to include some protein in my dish.

I’m in love with the combination and hope you will be too! If not, I hope you are at least inspired to come up with your own mix.

Cream of Swede & Turnip Soup with Kale-Cashew Pesto & Scallops
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Soup serves 6.
  • For the soup:
  • 1 swede/rutabaga, about 600g (1.3lbs), peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 turnips, about 400g together (1lb), peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 large leek, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • For the pesto:
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • For the scallops:
  • 2 scallops (or more if desired), per bowl
  • olive oil
  • fresh thyme sprigs, as garnish
  1. For the soup:
  2. In a large pot, place the swede, turnip and leek pieces with 3 cups of filtered water.
  3. Cook over low heat, for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Set aside to slightly cool.
  5. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
  6. Add 3 cups of filtered water (or more if too thick for your taste) and stir well.
  7. Add the salt, turmeric and mustard and place over low heat to warm up.
  8. In the meantime, make the pesto:
  9. Roast the cashews in a dry skillet until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir frequently so they do not burn.
  10. Combine the cashews and garlic in the food processor and process until very finely ground.
  11. Add the kale leaves, sea salt and pepper and process again until well chopped.
  12. Continuing processing, while adding the olive oil in a steady stream, until you have a creamy paste. (You can refrigerate or freeze, if not using all of it.)
  13. For the scallops:
  14. Place about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per 4 scallops, in a pan. Over medium heat, cook the scallops, until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes each side.
  15. For serving:
  16. Pour two ladles of soup into each bowl.
  17. Drizzle with the kale-cashew pesto (the amount desired) and place two (or more) scallops into each bowl on top of the pesto.
  18. Finish with a sprig of thyme for each bowl.


Lamb Tagine with Vegetables, Honey & Dates

If you’re a regular follower of my blog and Facebook page, you will know by now about my passion for Moroccan food. While we were in Spain this past month, I bought a bunch of cookbooks, including a two Moroccan ones. And then my friend Pedro, from Colesterol Sin Fronteras, presented me with a third! So, I have no excuse but to use them, of course…


Perusing through one of them, I came across the idea of a lamp chop and date tagine. But since I had some kale on hand and a few different vegetables than the recipe called for, I came up with my own concoction, which I share with you now.


Lamb Tagine with Vegetables, Honey & Dates
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Moroccan
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Serves 2-3.
  • 600g lamb chops (about 6 smallish chops)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • 2 cups kale leaves, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 dates, pitted
  • 4 mushrooms, clean and cut into fourths
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • a few sprigs of saffron
  • 1 stick cinnamon, halved
  • 1 + 1/4 cup filtered water (more if necessary)
  • butter, ghee or oil of choice
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw honey (more or less, to taste, and optional)
  • coarse sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of sesame seeds, raw or roasted (optional)
  • some mint leaves, chopped (optional)
  1. Rinse and and lay to dry on a plate or paper towels the lamb chops. Sprinkle with some sea salt and set aside, while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. In a tagine or other pan over medium heat, melt about 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Add the lamb chops and brown on both sides, making sure all of the blood is gone.
  4. Remove the lamb chops from the tagine/pan.
  5. In the same tagine/pan over low heat, melt another 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
  6. Add the onions and whole garlic cloves.
  7. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are almost translucent.
  8. Add the rest of the vegetables, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon and 1 cup water (add more water during cooking, if necessary, to not dry out the vegetables completely).
  9. Mix well, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Add the honey and mix well.
  11. Place the lamb chops back into the tagine/pan.
  12. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup (or slightly more if necessary) water over top.
  13. Cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes (depending on desired tenderness of meat), turning the chops half way through.
  14. Season with sea salt and pepper, if necessary, or leave the seasoning to the individual plates.
  15. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped mint leaves, if desired.
  16. Serve immediately.


Parsnip, Spinach & Kale Spanish Tortilla

Growing up in Spain, I used to dislike tortilla, the regular “tortilla de patatas”, which is rather bland and uninventive. And the problem with that is that you find it everywhere; and since, it’s a “staple” to take to parties, the beach or on a picnic, it’s a hard one to avoid.


However, as I like to experiment in the kitchen, incorporating changes to the traditional recipe is making this dish more delicious for my palate and so much more fun!

We have a friend who is staying with us overnight, and tomorrow we’ll be driving her to Oxford very early in the morning. So, I thought that having something ready for a quick bite before we leave would be a good idea… and of course the “socorrida tortilla” came to mind. Socorrido/a in Spanish means something that is easy to turn to in a bind. I guess that’s why tortilla turns up everywhere in Spain… 😉


Anyway, the package of parsnips in the fridge called out to me and well, we have this delicious dish, which is completely 100% Paleo, since I didn’t add any white potato this time. For my Sweet Potato Tortilla recipe, click here.


Give it a try and let me know what you think! I think it won’t disappoint you..!



Parsnip, Spinach & Kale Spanish Tortilla
Recipe Type: Easy
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
  • 6 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 egg whites, beaten to foamy, soft peaks
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 heaping cups parsnips, small dice
  • 1 heaping cup kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup jamon serrano, very dry chunks, very small dice (taquitos de jamon in Spanish)
  1. In a 20-cm (8-in) skillet, pour the olive oil.
  2. Over medium heat, poach the leeks for about 2 minutes until they start to become soft.
  3. Add the parsnips and poach, over low heat, for an additional 10 minutes, or until the vegetable is soft and tender. You do not want to the parsnip pieces to turn crispy, but instead rather mushy, yet holding their shape.
  4. In the meantime, beat the eggs in one bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Beat the egg whites in another bowl, until soft, foamy peaks form.
  6. Drain the parsnips from the oil, when they are done.
  7. Add to the whole egg mixture.
  8. Incorporate the kale and spinach, as well.
  9. Then fold in the beaten egg whites and the jamon serrano.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Remove most of the oil from the skillet, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons.
  12. Over low heat, pour the tortilla mixture into the pan.
  13. Cook for about 3 minutes, pushing the sides in with a wooden spoon or spatula, or order to create rounded sides.
  14. Place a plate or flat cover over the tortilla and flip it over onto the plate. Then slide it back into the skillet.
  15. Cook for 3 minutes on that side.
  16. Repeat once more for each side, always pushing the sides in.
  17. Can be served warm or cold.
 For 23 top benefits of kale, please check here!


Spinach & Strawberry Creamed Eggs

I made this dish twice over the weekend, trying to capture a better picture than the one below… but some how hunger and impatience got in the way both times.

But I have to say (and please don’t take my word for… give it a try), that this is quite delicious and has an unexpected surprise inside: strawberries. So you get your protein, your veggies and your fruit all in one dish!


Spinach & Strawberry Creamed Eggs
Recipe Type: Easy
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped or julienne style (or one leek, finely sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves, washed and broken into smaller pieces (kale can also work well)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 large strawberries, finely chopped
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2-4 whole eggs (I used three, as my husband ate two and I one)
  • For garnish: 2 fresh onions stalks, chopped, plus some goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. In a saucepan, over low heat, melt the coconut oil.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach leaves and saute until they start to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, sage leaves and strawberries and cook an additional 4 minutes, until everything is tender and the flavours have mixed well.
  6. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour into a smallish oven proof dish. Break the eggs over top.
  8. Add the coconut milk over the eggs.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done.
  10. Garnish with chopped fresh onions and some goat cheese. Enjoy!


Paleo Caldo Verde

I grew up on Caldo Verde, which my mother learned to make in Portugal. The version we had at home is very similar to the first one I posted on the blog some time ago. But yesterday, I was feeling like I needed something different and yet wanted to enjoy more kale, which I always have on hand. I also had on hand some delicious and succulent Spanish cooking chorizo…so it was perfect timing to make Caldo Verde, but in a more traditional manner.

What I have changed to make this Paleo is substituting the cauliflower for the typical potatoes. If you prefer to make with potatoes instead, use 2-3 large ones, and eliminate the cauliflower. Although from my reading and research, potatoes can still be considered both Paleo and Primal, it’s more about the quantities one consumes of them and how they affect our bodies. On my Facebook page, I’ve posted a few articles from Mark’s Daily Apple, which explain the pros and cons of eating this tuber. I’m not obsessive with how I eat, but try to keep everything as healthy as possible, that means learning about my ingredients and taking into consideration how things affect me, my metabolism and my taste buds! I recommend doing the same for yourself… 😉


Ingredients, for 4

  • 250g of kale, cut julienne style (if you don’t have kale, watercress or the turnip greens will also work)
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into medium to small florets
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Spanish cooking chorizo or pepperoni of choice
  • olive oil
  • water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a large pot, place 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil to heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the florets of cauliflower and toss around a couple of times. Add enough water to cover the cauliflower completely. Add a large piece of chorizo, about 6 inches long to the mixture. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft.

Remove from heat and remove the chorizo from the pot.  With a hand mixer or mini pimer puree the cauliflower and the remaining ingredients. Place back on the stove, over medium heat, and add the sliced kale. Add more water to make the soup thin and watery (and make sure all of the kale is covered, as well). Cook for 15 minutes, until the kale is tender. Season to taste.

In the meantime, cut the cooked chorizo into 1mm slices. Serve the soup with pieces of chorizo and some extra pepper on top.


My Version of Caldo Verde

We have family in Portugal and because of their influence and the fact that my mother speaks perfect Portuguese, we grew up singing Portuguese children songs and saying some things that for my Spanish family and friends sounded rather silly, like “coco” instead of “caca” when referring to a piece of dirt or trash on the ground. We also grew up enjoying many foods and dishes that were not typical in Spain. One of these dishes is Caldo Verde, which is a soup made with potatoes and kale or watercress.

I bought a bunch of kale about a week ago, and I didn’t want the rest of what I had left to spoil. So, I decided that a gloomy day like today deserved a warm soup. I’ve altered my mother’s recipe by swapping the cauliflower for the potatoes and added leek and cumin to spice up the flavour.


  • 500g kale
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into four
  • 2 leeks, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • fresh scallion for garnish (optional)


Rinse and cut up the kale, removing the stalks. Rinse the cauliflower and cut into large florets. Place all the ingredients, except the seasonings and olive oil into a pot with abundant water. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Drain, but not completely.

Puree with a hand blender or in a stand up blender. Add the olive oil, cumin, sea salt and pepper and blend well. If the soup is too thick, add more water. Pour back into pot to heat up. Serve garnished with scallion, if so desired.

This soup pairs well with a chilled Albarinho white wine from Galicia.

Exotic Kale Soup with Turmeric & Banana

We were in Germany last week, and while at one of the hotels, I picked up the Brigitte magazine. I’ve seen it before, skimmed through pages, and I think maybe even purchased one or two, during our 4 years in Germany. However, what surprised me this time was the selection of recipes with interesting combinations of ingredients.
The recipe below has been inspired by one of these recipes, but by no means looks or probably tastes like the original. I’ve made so many changes, I was afraid it wouldn’t taste nicely. But to my surprise, this soup came out delicious! And it’s such an exotic blend of flavours, it’s sure to be a hit at your home too!
Surprisingly Exotic Kale Soup with Turmeric & Banana
Ingredients, for 6
  • 500g carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onion, cut in fourths
  • 1 leek, cut into large pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 30g fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 300g kale, rinsed and chopped julienne style
  • 2 large bananas, cut into thin slices
  • juice of one or two lemons
  • 2,5 liters filtered water
  • 75g cashew butter
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste and for garnish
Prepare all of the vegetables. In a large pot, place the water, turmeric, ginger, carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, leek, celery, and garlic. Add about a teaspoon of sea salt. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender.
Place the sliced bananas in a bowl with the lime juice. Set aside.
Remove from heat, and with a hand blender or in a standup blender, puree all of the vegetables and broth. You want a thin soup, so if necessary add more filtered water. Add the cashew butter and mix well.
Return to heat and add the chopped kale. Cook until the kale is tender. Add sea salt to taste.
When the soup is ready to be served, place in bowls with slices of banana. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper over the soup and banana.