Creamy Potato and Kale Soup

Folks are loving this soup when I offer it for tasting at farmers markets as a way to bring them into a conversation about local food and my book. It’s super easy, delicious, and great for these cool and nippy fall days!

Creamy Potato and Kale Soup

2 slices bacon or 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

½ cup diced onion

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

4 cups diced baking potatoes (2 large potatoes)

1 cup chopped kale

½-¾ cup milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

If using bacon, cut the strips into ¼-inch pieces. In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart pot, fry the bacon, stirring frequently over medium-low heat until the fat is rendered and the pieces are crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

If not using bacon, put the vegetable or olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion to the oil or bacon fat in the pot and sauté over medium heat until it softens and begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Add the stock or water, the potatoes, and the kale. The liquid should completely cover the vegetables. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the potatoes break easily with a fork, 10-15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. If you have an immersion blender, use it to purée the soup in the pot. If using a countertop blender, let the soup cool slightly before carefully puréeing it in batches in the blender. Return all the puréed soup to the pot.

Return the pot to the stove. Over medium-low heat, stir in enough milk to reach a consistency that is creamy but will still pour off a spoon, and heat through without boiling. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the reserved bacon if you like, and serve. Serves 4-6.

From “The Chesapeake Table: Your Guide to Eating Local,” Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018.