My mom is a funny creature.
This is a woman who raised her three kids on salads and baked potatoes (and no sugar cereals!). And, yet, she has recently decided that she hates vegetables. She likes fruit, grains, meats, etc. But no greens. She wants nothing to do with greens right now, which I find really funny. Perhaps she’s just eaten too many in her lifetime?
In any case, I can’t get enough of them. Its winter in Portland, which means that greens are one of the few produce items we can get that are fresh and local. Kale, Spinach, Chard, Collard greens, etc. I love them all. In the dark and cold of the Portland winter, there is just something so satisfying about eating something crisp, and fresh, and green. Specifically, kale. I have been on a kale kick. I’d been hunting for an interesting recipe for a soup that featured kale, and found this potato and kale recipe and couldn’t wait to try it.
I ended up making a big batch of the soup, and delivered half of the batch to friends of ours whose baby girl had surgery the night before. They had been up all night at the hospital and were completely exhausted. Not being a parent myself, I can only imagine how hard it must be to watch your baby go through something like that. Thankfully, she made it through surgery like a champion – she is such a strong little girl!
In any case, bringing over some soup seemed like the least we could do. (Brief side note: I have been thinking a lot about how to put my cooking to good use. I really want to be able to bless people in the way only way that I know how: with food. So if any of you have any good ideas or people you know that might need a healthy and hot meal – please let me know!)
It may sound silly, I was really worried that the soup had turned out too bland and that I had brought my friends an inferior product. I used store-bought veggie stock (as I made the soup the day before I made my own stock. Bad timing on my part.), which is oftentimes very bland. I also didn’t use as many onions and garlic as the original recipe called for (it asked for 2 onions and 6 cloves of garlic), because I think I have an allergy to both of these things (which is an awful thing to realize…). But, all my fears aside – the soup was scrumptious. I just needed to adjust the seasonings a bit (salt, pepper, cayenne, and cream do a WORLD of good) and it was great! And even better leftover, I must say.
Potato Kale Soup (with Lentils)
2 Tbls butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (not chopped)
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1cm cubes (you can leave the skins on)
4-5 cups vegetable stock (can use chicken stock)
2 large handfuls of kale, sliced very thin (about 2 packed cups raw)
1/2 cup cooked lentils (I had extras from the lentil soup I made last week, but they aren’t necessary to the soup. They just add color, texture, and protein.)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper (because cayenne makes everything better)
1/4 – 1/2 cup of cream
Melt butter in a large pot or saucepan, on med-low heat. Add onions, garlic, and bay leaf, and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the onions are getting golden. Add potatoes, and let cook, stirring every few minutes, until the potatoes get golden bits (about 20 minutes). You may need to add more butter. Cook on med-low until the potatoes just begin to brown. If the potatoes are sticking to the bottom (as they did when I made this), just add in the stock and don’t worry about fully browning them.
After you’ve added the stock add the thyme and cayenne, and let simmer for 20 minutes (until the potatoes are soft). Add kale (and lentils if using), and simmer another 15 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf bits. Blend the soup with an immersion blender (or scoop soup into food processor and blend until pureed, but still has texture). Return the soup to the stove and cook on low heat until the mixture simmers. Stir in the cream, taste, and adjust seasonings.
I honestly can’t remember, but I think I threw a dash of soy sauce into the soup as well. I’m all for a little extra Umami…
My mom is a funny creature.