Friday, October 14, 2011

Potato-Kale Soup with Cheese

This main-dish soup is wonderfully flavorful and earthy. Try hosting a fun beer-and-food pairing with the soup and bread duo.  I really enjoyed serving with brown ale and pilsner, both from vegan-friendly Brooklyn Brewery. 

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 7 cups vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped and peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 9 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese*
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

2. Stir in the broth, potatoes, salt, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes - the potato should be tender.

3. Stir in the kale and dried basil.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the kale is tender.  Discard the bay leaf.  Use a potato masher to partially mash the potatoes in the soup, until chunky.  Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with the cheese of your choice. 

*My pick, to complement the flavors in this dish, is the Gouda from Sheese, or any other vegan cheese you like that is similar to a nutty Gruyere.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 and 2/3 cups soup, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cheese), Calories 239 

Tasting Notes:
I was worried, as I ladled the soup into bowls, that it would be too watery and therefore bland.  And - although yes, a touch thin - the soup was incredibly flavorful.  Mostly, I think, from the bouillon cubes, but also great dried basil and bay leaf flavor - and the pop of the cheese on top was perfect.  Next time I would simply use less broth (closer to 4 or 5 cups) to address the watery issue, and add both more potato and more kale.  Then you'll really have a thick, chunky bowlful.

Update: serve this soup with my Walnut and Rosemary Loaves - the flavor combination is perfect, and you'll want to use the bread to sop up the last bits of broth from your bowl.


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