1 bunch kale, wash, patted dry, stems removed, leaves chopped into large pieces
5-7 T. olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
_ t. dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems discarded, leave minced
2 bay leaves
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
Dash salt and pepper
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (or use small sugar pumpkin)
1 lb. carrots, cleaned and chopped
4 c. chicken broth
1 -2 c. water
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place chopped kale on prepared cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 to 3 T. olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Gently toss kale so that it’s evenly coated with oil and salt and then spread it over the cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 min. Toss and bake for an additional 5-8 min. or until slightly golden and crispy. Keep an eye on it; kale can overcook quickly once it becomes crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Place 3 T. olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5-8 min. Add garlic and sauté for approx. 2 min. Add thyme, bay leaves, diced apple, salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 min. Add squash and carrots and continue to sauté another 2 min. Stir in chicken broth and 1 _ c. water. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let cook 25-30 min. or until carrots and squash are tender.
4. Remove soup from heat. Remove bay leaves. Puree soup with a hand-held blender. If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency. Add apple cider vinegar. Check season and adjust salt and vinegar to taste. Reheat if necessary. Serve soup hot, topped with crispy kale.