Potatoes, kale give soup flavor



April 24, 2002|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Gay H. McCormick of Westminster wrote that she was seeking a recipe for Potato-Kale Soup. "It was once available from a company called Walnut Acres Organic Farm in Penns Creek, Pa., which has now gone out of business. Ingredients such as kale, potatoes, onions and more were listed on the can. I would greatly appreciate a recipe."

Nancy Gabriel of Eldersberg responded with a recipe and a note: "I have used so many recipes over the years that were cut from newspapers - I'm glad to submit one."

Potato-Kale Soup

Makes 8 servings


1 loaf French or Italian bread

1/4 cup olive oil


2 pounds yellow Finn or Yukon gold potatoes

1 bunch curly kale (chicory)

3 medium onions

1/3 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic

8 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper, to taste

For the croutons, using a bread knife, cut off the bread crust. Cut the bread into 1/2 -inch cubes. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the bread cubes to the hot oil. Turn the cubes occasionally so they brown evenly. (Keep an eye on them lest they burn.)

Remove the croutons from the oil when they are evenly browned. Drain well on several layers of paper towels. Set aside or store, covered, at room temperature overnight.

For the soup, peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Slice into 1/4 -inch slices (half moons). Cover the slices with cold water until ready to use (for no more than 1 hour). Drain well just before using.

Remove and discard any outer kale leaves that are bruised, discolored, tough or wilted. To clean, cut off the bottom core. Separate the leaves. Then wash the leaves, one at a time, under cold running water.

Place the rinsed leaves on several layers of paper towels or on a clean kitchen towel. Gently pat dry. Using kitchen scissors or a knife, remove the center rib from the kale by cutting down both sides of the rib. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Peel and slice the onions. In a large saucepan, heat the 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender and slightly browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes.

Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the kale. Cook for 15 minutes more or until the kale and potatoes are soft and tender. Adjust seasoning.

Serve the soup in individual soup bowls. Garnish with croutons.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "Buttery yellow Yukon gold potatoes begin to fall apart in this soup, giving it a thick, hearty texture and a gorgeous, silky taste. The swirls of kale add good flavor (be sure to wash the raw curly kale really well, as it could retain lots of sand, ruining your finished soup), and a sprinkling of croutons on top lends a nice little crunch.

"This filling soup is a meal in itself, and the leftovers reheat nicely the next day. If the potatoes really fall apart and thicken the soup, be sure to stir while heating to avoid burning the bottom of the pan."

Recipe requests

Dorothy Grossnicklaus of Lyons, Ore., is seeking a recipe for Sardinian Cracker Bread. She says she got the recipe out of the Oregon Wheat Growers League newsletter in the late 1960s.

Rosalle H. Atkinson of Merced, Calif., is seeking a recipe "from the late '50s for a Jello ice-cream pie. It was made with ice cream, dry Jello and canned fruit and put into a graham-cracker crust."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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