1 bunch kale
3 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, diced into ½ inch squares
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small dried red chili, seeded and chopped, or ½ tsp chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and diced into ½ inch cubes
7 c water or stock
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional) *
2 cans white beans *
Non-fat sour cream (optional)
* MY VARIATIONS: To add extra flavor I added 2-3 teaspoons of Seitenbacher vegetarian broth powder. Add this powder to taste, like you would add salt. Also, to give the soup some “meat” I added the white beans after pureeing the soup with my hand blender. To let the flavors develop I recommend making the soup in the morning or the day before.
Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears cut the ruffled kale leaves off their stems, which are very tough and take a long time to cook. Cut the leaves into pieces roughly 2 inches square, wash them well, and set them aside.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic, chili, bay leaf, and salt, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potatoes and the yeast, if using, plus a cup of the water or stock. Stir together, cover, and cook slowly for 5 minutes.
Add the kale, cover, and steam until it is wilted, stirring occasionally. Pour in the rest of the water or stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer slowly, covered, until the potatoes are quite soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the potatoes by pressing them against the sides of the pot, or puree a cup or two of the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. This will make a unifying background for the other elements.
Taste the soup for salt and add a generous grinding of black pepper. If possible, let the soup sit for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to further develop. If desired add a spoonful of non-fat sour cream.
Serves 4 – 6.
FYI – this soup was served as part of a vegetarian dinner with Lindsay Wagner…yup the Bionic Woman! Click here to see the entire menu.