Kale and Potato Soup with Roasted Tomatoes

September 30, 2012

Aunt Suzy says . . .

The calendar says soup, but the weather says salad.  Nonetheless, the kale is so fabulous at the farmer’s markets that I decided to make a kale-based soup today.  We went for a walk today in the Big Woods State Park south of Minneapolis, and I thought it would be great to come home to an already prepared meal.  If it were actually cold out, I would pair this with a hearty sour rye or multi-grain bread, but baguette seemed perfect given the warm weather.  A light red Cotes-du-Rhone is a nice match for the flavors in this soup.

Makes 8-10 servings, depending on appetites

2-3 tablespoons EV olive oil

1 carrot, small dice (about 3/4 cup)

1-2 celery ribs, small dice (about 1/2 cup)

1 onion, small dice

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried

4-5 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)

2-3 chicken chorizo sausages, like Amylu brand, optional

1 1/2 cups diced roasted tomatoes, homemade or small can fire-roasted

1 cup dry white wine

10 cups liquid, chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

5 leafy sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, 1-inch chunks (about 5 cups)

15 packed cups kale, in 2-inch pieces (roughly one bunch)

salt and pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot of at least 6 quarts capacity over medium-high heat.  Coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and heat to shimmering.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and rosemary to the pot.  Turn down the heat to medium and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and chorizo and saute for another 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown a little.

Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.  Next add the wine and simmer for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol.  Add the liquid of your choice (I used chicken stock) and the thyme sprigs; stir to blend.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the thyme sprigs, taking care that the leaves remain in the soup.

Add the potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  If you like a thicker soup, you can simmer for up to an hour to break down the potatoes.  We like a brothier soup and “just done” potatoes, hence the shorter cooking time.

Add the kale and simmer for 15 minutes more, making sure not to overcook the kale.  Taste and then add salt and pepper.  I did not put in additional S&P since the oven roasted tomatoes had plenty as well as the homemade chicken stock.  We added a tiny amount of each at the table.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS:   Either fully cooked Andouille or Chorizo sausages, pork or chicken, would be great in this dish.  If you do not add the sausages, I recommend 2 teaspoons smoked paprika added with the tomatoes.  I used “regular” green kale, but Lacinato would be excellent also.  I did not peel the potatoes out of personal preference.  If you want to thicken the soup a little, I recommend peeled russet potatoes over the Yukons.

And it was a beautiful day for a walk!

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