This is described in the Greens Cook Book as a “vigorous and deeply satisfying winter soup” but actually all the ingredients are in their prime now, in late summer.
But yes, I agree – they will go on to nourish us through the darker, colder months as well.
I have three kinds of kale, the red ruffles of Sutherland Kale are cheek by jowl with the showy more jagged leaves of my white kale and the dark green almost black plumes of Cavolo Nero which I used for the soup.
My chillies are beginning to turn red – they dangle like earrings off the short squat leafy plants that I have in pots outside the back door.
And I’ve just lifted the potatoes – blight resistant varieties for the most part.
This soup is one of my favourites and we had it for lunch yesterday.
- 1 bunch kale about 12 to 14 big leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic finely sliced
- 1 red chili, finely chopped you can also use dried chili, or flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed, washed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 7 US cups water or stock a little over 1.6 litres
Using a sharp knife, cut the washed kale leaves off their stems. Slice the leaves thinly then chop roughly.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, add onion, garlic, chili, bay leaf and salt, and cook over medium heat for three to four minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the potatoes and nutritional yeast, if using, plus a cup of the water or stock. Stir and cover to cook for five minutes.
Add the kale, cover and steam until it is wilted, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the rest of the water or stock (I use Marigold bouillon powder) and bring to the boil and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are quite soft, 30 to 30 minutes.
Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the potatoes against the side of the pot or puree and cup or two in a blender and return it to the pot.
Taste for salt and add a generous grinding of pepper. If possible let the soup sit for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavours to further develop.
Serve without any garnish.