You could probably try a vegetable soup stock if you have any other vegetable lying around to add to it!
Wouldn't that make the soup base extremely kale-y though. I usually have tons of these stems lying around.
If you taste a raw stem, you'll notice it's pretty sweet. I hesitated before using any in a vegetable stock because we're told that members of brassica family are too assertive for such use. However, while I imagine broccoli, cauliflower or anything cabbagy would be unpleasant--sniff the air after over-cooking and you'll see why--kale does not overpower. I wouldn't use purple stems for a light-colored soup, but I was pleased with a stock made with tough kale stems tossed in with more typical fresh ingredients, and odds and ends I save in the freezer for this purpose.
I like them. I cut them into small pieces, sauté them first (they take longer to cook) and then add the cut up leaves....then some freshly grated nutmeg, minced fresh garlic, salt and pepper at the end. Can't be better (or any easier)...
I do the above, as well as pickling them. You can also chop them up in a food processor to break up their tough fibers and ferment them in the style of kimchee.
I'd think they could be successfully braised, the way the French to with Swiss Chard stems.
Chard stems resemble cardoons or limp celery; they are broad and not as dense. They soften as quickly as onion. Kale stems, not so much. Vitamix owners could follow Lindsay-Jean's recommendation easily.
Is there a special trick to making it? I once tried to make soup purée with kale stems but it was just too fibrous to make it work. I was using an immersion blender though...
If you add some other vegetables to the stock, I don't think kale stems would make the stock too Kale-y! I suppose it depends on your taste, I think it could make a really nice base for a lot of soup recipes!
My wire fox eats them as snacks!
Totally random, but the first answer that came to mind was to tie them together and use them as a whip. (sorry)
i add them to juice and smoothies.
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook suggests turning chard stems into chard fries by dipping in egg, flour, egg, bread crumbs, refrigerating, and then frying at 365. Not sure if this would work for kale, but it might be worth a shot. Otherwise, I use them to make veggie stock.
Chard stems are way softer than kale but it's an interesting suggestion. Thanks!
You could always juice them or throw them into a smoothie! I also sometimes eat them dipped in humus like celery stalks but you probably have to be really into kale to enjoy that.
Chickens would appreciate them.