Kale chips are the new cracker.
Since discovering kale chips last year, thanks to all my favorite food blogs, I can’t get enough of them. Every time I pull a pan out of the oven I still look at them, amazed that a leafy green can turn so crisp and tasty.
When I decided to make some potato soup tonight I wanted to add a little something extra so I decided on a little kale in the soup itself. Then one thing led to another and I was topping my bowl with kale chips before dinner. Now I’m officially proclaiming kale chips as my new cracker for all my fall soups!
The soup starts with a little bacon. I’m able to get smoked, pastured bacon ends at our local meat shop which is perfect for this kind of thing. It chops up easily and I can use just what I need for each recipe.
Once all the veggies are cooked, I finish it off with a little half and half from one of my favorite Kentucky dairies. This half and half is low heat pasteurized and non-homogenized so the creamy fat thickens the soup nicely. To finish it off with just a little more smoky flavor, I turn to some smoked paprika.
I was a rainy, cool day here and I have a feeling more days like this are to come. This soup fits in nicely with the change of seasons; hearty, creamy and filled with a good dose of dark, leafy greens.
Smoky Potato Soup with Kale
¼ cup smoked bacon ends, diced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
½ large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups kale, chopped, loosely packed
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
½ cup half and half
In a small soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until fat becomes visible in the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and add the celery, carrot and onion. Cook about 3 minutes and stir in the garlic. Continue to cook until the veggies are tender, about 5 more minutes.
Add the potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add water to the pot just to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. As soon as the potatoes become tender, add the kale. Cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.
Stir in the salt, pepper and paprika. Using a potato masher, gently mash the soup, breaking up some of the potatoes, but not all. Stir in the half and half and serve warm. Makes 4 servings.
To make kale chips: Place chopped kale pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle on a little olive oil and toss to coat. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp. Season with salt and pepper.
This recipe has been submitted to Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.