This soup turned out so well, I have to share the recipe with you–but please keep in mind that it’s rather inexact, as I wasn’t thinking I’d need to reproduce the recipe for anyone else as I was making it. Some mixed baby kales from Earthbound Organic had caught my eye at the market. I still hadn’t done anything with them a week later, and needed to use them up before they went bad, so I used what few things I had on hand, and made this. It was so great–and (bonus!) my kids loved it, too! Read on for an approximate recipe…
Recipe: Potato, Kale, and Roasted Garlic Chowder
1 whole head garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 to 3 slices bacon, finely chopped or 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
3 to 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (if substituting vegetable broth, dilute halfway with water)
5 ounces mixed baby kales, such as Earthbound Organic (or other greens such as arugula, spinach, or regular trimmed kale)
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Homemade croutons (recipe follows)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the top quarter of garlic head (discard trimmings), place garlic on a square of foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and wrap foil around to cover completely. Place in oven and roast until completely tender, about 45 minutes; let cool.
- In a large, heavy pot, render bacon over medium until crisp (or heat olive oil); add onion and cook until softened. Add potatoes, thyme and and broth (add less broth to start with–you can always add more later, but can’t take it out if you’ve added too much!). Squeeze roasted garlic pulp into pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and cook until potatoes are almost completely tender. Add baby kale and cook until tender.
- Coarsely puree soup in a blender by pulsing a few times (you don’t want it smooth–just uniformly chunky). Return to pot over medium-low and stir in heavy cream, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning and consistency. Serve with croutons.
To make croutons, dice stale bread (I used a whole-grain sourdough.) Heat a large saute pan over medium to medium-high. Add a thin layer of olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Toss in a smashed garlic clove and cook for a few minutes until garlic begins to brown; remove and discard. Add bread to pan and cook, tossing occasionally, until bread cubes are toasted and golden (think exterior of a grilled cheese!). Season with salt and pepper and remove to a paper towel to cool.