This soup started out as a Souperhero Soup, Jean Grey aka Phoenix to be exact. She has a stunning green suit and gorgeous flowing red hair. The problem is it was darn near impossible to make it look like a super hero the way I have been with the other soups. Puréed kale just isn't very yummy. But I love this soup. It is completely different from soups I normally make. I love the clear broth, the chewiness of the kale. It makes me feel like I'm eating a big ol' healthy bowl of health so I'm sharing it.
There are lots of different varieties of kale on the market these days. They all have a distinct flavor and color. My favorite for this soup is called Dinosaur kale. It's also called Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, Black kale, or Cavolo Nero and sometimes, affectionately, Dino kale. The dark green leaves hold up well to the cooking and the color is to die for. In the end, this soup is a little like Phoenix: bold, beautiful, and dramatic, even if it doesn't look much like her costume.
Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
12 oz dinosaur kale, washed, stems removed and chopped into small squares
1 sweet potato, scrubbed but not peeled
1 large portabello mushroom including stem and gills, cubed
1 1/4 C diced onion
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
2 four inch sprigs of thyme, stems removed
4 C water
dollop of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Pierce the sweet potato several times with a fork and heat in the microwave until done. You can bake it in the oven if you'd like, but it will be much quicker in the microwave. Remove from microwave and set on the counter to cool. When it cools enough to touch, peel the skin off and chop the potato into small cubes. In a large pot, heat olive oil till it shimmers. Add onion and sauté til the onions have softened and just begun to brown. Add mushroom and cook until juices release. Add thyme and garlic and heat just for 30 seconds or so while the flavor blooms in the garlic. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. The water should be gently flavored. Add salt and pepper at this time to taste and determine if you want the broth to be more strongly flavored or not. Cook longer as desired, though I find about 10 minutes to be adequate. When you are happy with the broth, add kale and stir til combined and all the leaves are moistened. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes until kale just loses the raw flavor but has not become soft. Serve with sweet potato on top.
- If you want it to look a little more "Phoenix-y" you can drain the broth through a strainer to remove all the vegetables, but I like the mushroom bits, personally.
- If you can get your hands on some chanterelles, about a cup would make a terrific substitution for the portabella.
- Adding some white beans like cannellini beans would be a nice touch.
- This is good reheated but doesn't freeze well. It gets that "frozen greens" taste.
This is a favorite of the adults in the house. The kids, not so much...