Aug 09 2013

Silky Kale and Roasted Garlic Soup

Published by Christine at 5:57 am under Soups,Vegetarian

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. “It’s summer, and you want us to make what?”

Truth be told, it has cooled down a bit up here in the Northeast, so soup isn’t a total aberration. On top of which, I hold firm to the belief that there is never a bad time for soup. In fact, I remember my paternal grandfather eating it winter like summer, boiling hot as it were (the soup and/or the weather). My cousin Nina, at whose house I spent many a wonderful summer as a child, also made a big pot of vegetable and tapioca soup every Sunday of the year, to be served at dinner for the remainder of the week.

Today’s offering (which I got here) contains two of my favorite things: kale and garlic. Actually, make that three of my favorite things: kale, garlic, and potatoes. And nobody expects Spanish smoked paprika in soup, do they?


But I digress. There are a whopping three heads of garlic in this soup, which will probably seem like overkill to most, but note that this is roasted garlic, which has an altogether very different taste. It is in fact sweet and smooth, and has none of the bite (and breath-slaying power) of fresh garlic. It marries exceedingly well with kale and creamy potatoes, and once processed through a blender, the mélange is nothing short of glorious. It is made even more appealing by the addition of Pimentón de la Vera, which gives the soup its beautiful golden color and very subtle smoky flavor. I recommend you procure some of this, although you could substitute regular paprika.

Smoked paprika, the secret weapon in this recipe

I served a poached egg on top of each bowl of soup, for a light yet entirely satisfying meal. I can’t wait to make this again, no matter what the weather does!


Silky Kale and Roasted Garlic Soup

4 cups kale, trimmed, washed and sliced
3 heads garlic, whole
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and carefully washed
1 cup diced potato (any will work here, but russet is best)
6 cups broth or water
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 to 3 bay leaves
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by roasting the garlic in a 375 oven. Remove as much of the outer skins from the garlic heads as you can. With a large knife, trim about 1/4 off the top to expose the cloves, and place all three heads of garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil on top, close the foil around tightly, and bake for about 75 minutes. The garlic will be done when it is soft and looks golden. Let it sit until cool enough to hold.


Now ready to be used.

In a dutch oven over medium-low heat, sauté the leeks, rosemary and bay leaves in 2 Tsbp olive oil, until the leeks soften (about 5 minutes). Add potatoes and paprika. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the garlic heads (it will come out very easily) directly into the pan. Sauté for a few more minutes. Add broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen all the delicious bits that have stuck there. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and let it simmer until the potatoes are done, another 10-12 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, and puree the soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender directly in the soup pot). Be careful not to burn yourself, please; I would feel guilty if you did.

Return soup to the pot, add kale and cook until kale is wilted, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with (or without) a poached egg on top, some warm crusty bread, and prepare to be amazed at how good life is.

Soup with egg = complete, delicious meal.


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