Kale and Potato Soup
This soup is inspired by the Portuguese national dish caldo verde (green soup), but this version contains no chorizo sausage. I’ve added a Parmesan rind to the bouquet garni to enrich the broth.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
- 1 3/4 to 2 pounds starchy potatoes (such as Idaho potatoes), peeled and thinly sliced
- A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs each parsley and thyme, and a Parmesan rind
- 1 pound kale, stemmed and washed thoroughly
- Freshly ground pepper
1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the potatoes, the bouquet garni and two quarts of water. Bring to a boil, add salt, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes until the potatoes are falling apart. Remove the bouquet garni.
2. While the soup is simmering, prepare the kale. Stack the leaves, about six or eight to a stack, roll them up tightly and slice crosswise into very thin filaments.
3. When the potatoes have begun to fall apart, mash them in the pot with a potato masher or blend the soup with a hand blender. Stir the kale into the soup, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, uncovered. The kale should be tender but should not become a drab olive green, if possible. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper. Stir in the remaining olive oil, and serve with crusty bread.
Yield: Serves six to eight
Advance preparation: You can make the soup through step 1 a day ahead. Bring back to a simmer, and proceed with the recipe.