With back to school season in the air, I have been reminiscing about school lunches in the 1970s and 1980s. Cafeteria food of yesteryear would probably prompt a special report on CNN today. But back then, eating pink slime was way cooler than bringing a crumpled brown lunch sack or a Six Million Dollar Man lunch box. Where else could you get deep dish pizza cut into squares; that somehow was not even pizza but had you coming back for more? But today, two things seem to be happening: 1) cafeteria food is much better (even gourmet, catering to special diets like vegans! in some places) and 2) there has been a revival of the “sack” lunch.
With the sack lunch revival comes a whole host of cool lunch box contraptions and containers with names like LunchBots, that suggest that these items might actually even make your kid’s lunch for you. This got me thinking about what to send in all of these devices. If only I could be as creative with my lunch menu planning as the makers of the carriers of my lunch menu. Even though we are a vegan family, we run the same risk of sending PBJ every day (well, make that A[lmond]BJ since there is a peanut allergy in my daughter’s class). But I found that there are some simple answers, all swirled up in one of America’s favorite mid-day meals: soup, glorious soup. And one of my favorite soups (because I often have the ingredients just lying around) is potato kale soup. My daughter is not a chunky soup gal so blessed be the Vitamix. With this turbo blender, I can make this soup super creamy and come out steaming all at the same time. Not to sound like an infomercial, but I have a Vitamix from the 1980s and it is still rocking it (if you don’t mind a little smoke pouring out of the base on occasion).
If you have not joined the Vitamix (or Blendtec or other blender on steroids) revolution, you can also make this recipe in a food processor and heat on the stove.
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
2 TBSP olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 four inch sprigs of rosemary, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, chopped
1 cup soymilk
¼ cup vegan sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Make Some Soup
Place potatoes in one gallon of cold water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium high and cook for 10 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, add olive oil to large sauté pan. On medium high heat, sauté onion until translucent. Reduce heat then add the garlic, rosemary, and a dash of salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until the rosemary is bright green. Add the vegetable stock and then the dinosaur kale. Cook until the dinosaur kale is soft, about three minutes.
Once the potatoes are cooked, strain and add to blender.
Add the onion mixture, soy milk and vegan sour cream. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper.
Fills one hot 12 oz thermos 8 times.