The Soup Well.

In keeping with my vow to eat cheap in order to pad the bank account for upcoming trips, I went back to the well for inspiration. The soup well, if you will. (No? As you were, then.)


This one’s from Cooking Light, clipped back in 2002. It had those magic words—potatoes and Gruyère—and promised to cure my cravings for leafy greens, in a form that, purportedly, wouldn’t leave me feeling as if I’d just swallowed a brick. Win, win, and win again.

I threw everything in the pot when I got home from the gym (I know!), jumped in the shower, and finished up when I got out—it was that easy to make. I cheated, though, and used the broth, made months earlier from the bones of a jerk-pork roast, I had in the freezer instead of vegetable or chicken stock, which gave the soup extra flavor and a tiny bit of heat. (If you decide to give the recipe a whirl as written, I’d love to hear how it turns out.)


Served with a heap of freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese on top, it turned out to be the perfect vehicle for a giant bunch of peak-season farmers-market kale and a bag of adorably tiny miniature Yukon Gold potatoes. In other words, an ideal dinner for a chilly autumn evening.

Potato-Kale Soup with Gruyère
From Cooking Light, October 2002

2  tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1  garlic clove, minced
7  cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth [substitute vegetable broth if making non-meat version]
4  cups coarsely chopped peeled Yukon gold potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  bay leaf
6  cups chopped fresh kale (about 3/4 pound)
1  teaspoon dried basil
9  tablespoons (about 2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, potato, salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.

2. Stir in kale and basil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Discard bay leaf. Partially mash potatoes with a potato masher [I used an immersion blender] until thick and chunky. Top with cheese.

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3 thoughts on “The Soup Well.

  1. marsha says:

    Sounds good. I’ve really been craving soups!

  2. Jaydubs says:

    Point of clarification: If this has chicken broth, it’s not vegetarian. (Veggie broth is an easy sub, I’m just noting this for the benefit of anyone who might think it’s OK to serve chicken broth to a vegetarian. Which happens more frequently than I’d like.)

  3. Maya says:

    Jenny, duly noted! We’ve been marking most recipes as vegetarian when the broth is the only mitigating factor, figuring it’s a no-brainer to swap it out. But you’re right—will either mark as “almost vegetarian” or specify to sub veg broth in the future. I give people far too much credit, I guess.

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