Fiction-Food Café

October 9, 2017

Hell-Broth | Macbeth

          Smalls and I recently went apple picking with friends and got so many delicious apples! Instead of the usual pie, I wanted to make some savory dishes and happened upon many similar recipes for kale and apple soup (I used this one from thekitchn as a base guide). The color is such a lovely green and I thought it would make a perfect witch's brew for #Witchtober (recipe link-up here)! But what witch or witches in fiction are famous for stirring their cauldron? The witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth and their "double, double, toil and trouble", of course! There are many fun additions and garnishes that you can make for this soup inspired by their chant, and I've included a few below. Note: This soup may look disturbing, but it's really quite tasty! 😋

"For a charm of powerful trouble, 
 Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Act 4, Scene 1)

The Weird Sisters' Hell-Broth

1 Large Red Bell Pepper
Olive Oil
~10 oz. Kale Leaves, stems removed & chopped
~1/4 Cup Chopped Bacon OR 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
~4 Cups Warm Chicken OR Vegetable Broth
1/2 Large Sweet Onion, sliced
1 Large Green Apple, cored & sliced
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1-2 Tbsp. Chèvre Cheese (Cream Cheese is fine too)
Sriracha (OR other pourable red sauce)

Heat your oven to 500ºF. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment & coat it lightly with cooking spray or oil. Cut the red pepper in quarters, removing the core & seeds, & lay the quarters on the tray cut side down. Slide the tray into the oven on the middle rack & cook for about 20 minutes or so, until the peppers are roasted well & soft & their skin is bubbled & a little charred (you can put them under the broiler for a few mins to help this along if you want).

Remove the peppers from the oven & transfer them to a plate. Cover the plate with a large bowl to steam them for about 15 minutes, & then peel off the skin (& discard it). Rub the roasted peppers with a little olive oil & set aside until needed.

In a large pan on medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat renders (if doing vegetarian simply use olive oil). Add the onions & cook until tender. Add in the apples & cook a few minutes more until soft. Add in the kale & coat it well & cook until just wilted. Add in 3 cups of the broth & simmer for about 10 minutes.

Pour the soup into a blender (you may need to do 1/2 at a time), add in 1-2 Tbsp oil to help emulsify, & cover with a towel so heat can escape while blending. Blend until the soup is smooth & creamy (this may take several minutes). Add in salt & pepper to taste. Add more broth if needed to reach your desired consistency.

Roll several small balls from the chèvre or cream cheese & place a piece of cracked pepper or teeny tiny bit of kale leaf onto each one for a pupil. These are your "eyes of newt".

Pour the soup into serving bowls. Separate the red pepper pieces so that you have a couple that look like tongues ("tongue of dog"). Lay a "tongue" in each soup bowl, draping it over the edge. If you have extra red pepper you can cut it up & put it in the center (these pieces can be used to prop up the "tongue" if necessary). Float several of the little cheese "eyes" in the soup, pupil up. Squeeze a couple rings of Sriracha or other red sauce over the soup for "baboon blood" (I used red pepper paste mixed with a little broth. If the sauce is not in a squeeze container put a little into a plastic baggie & snip a tiny hole in the corner). If you have any special oil like hazelnut or avocado, feel free to drizzle a little of that on too.

Other garnish suggestions: Seaweed cut like bat wings or shredded seaweed or kale chip bits for "wool of bat" and little baked or fried chicken wings for "owlet's wing". Haha, if you happen to have a snake fillet or shark meat go right ahead and add that too. 😊

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