As you know, I don’t always come up with my own recipes, but I also share the best of what I’ve tried.
Making soup can be time consuming, so I’m happy to try a bunch of recipes out and share what I really love.
This soup is now in the once a week rotation for the winter. It’s got tons of cancer fighting, germ fighting antioxidants and vitamins that will help get us through this cold season.
The ingredients list is short (which is always a huge bonus). It’s creamy and slightly sweet so if the kids can get over the color, they will like it as well.
I skip the fried sage leaves to save time, but they are great if you have some extra time.
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
- 2 large onion (chopped)
- 1 tsp salt (divided)
- 2 tbsp water, plus 4 cups (divided)
- 4 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 large bunch Tuscan, Lacinato, or Russian kale
- 2 medium or 1 very large Japanese yam or regular sweet potato (about 1 1/4 lbs)
- 14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 oz), any tough stems trimmed
- 8 fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp crumbled dried
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 1 tbsp agave nectar, or more to taste (optional)
- 16 fried sage leaves for garnish (see above)
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in 2 tablespoons water, garlic and thyme and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove tough stems and ribs from kale and coarsely chop the greens. Peel yam (or sweet potato) and dice into 1-inch pieces. Coarsely chop spinach; set aside.
- Combine the remaining 4 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add the kale, yam (or sweet potato) and sage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach, return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once halfway through, for 10 minutes more. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the soup. Add broth; return to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in cayenne, a few grinds of pepper and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. If the soup is sweet to your taste, add more lemon juice; if it’s too tart, add agave nectar, if desired. Just before serving, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the hot soup. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of oil and 2 fried sage leaves.
- To make fried sage leaves: Set a small strainer over a heatproof bowl. Heat about 1/2 inch olive or canola oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add sage leaves; fry just until crisp, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain in the strainer then spread out on a paper towel until ready to use.