Potato and Kale Soup

Serves 6+ leftovers

Kale is one of those veggies I did not grow up eating.  Maybe it grows in a cooler climate than Texas offers — I don’t know.  But there just aren’t any family recipes in our Scottish and Welsh family kitchen history that call for it.  Maybe they got lost in the Atlantic Ocean on the way over.  But there are a couple of soups I’ve grown to love that use kale liberally — well worth learning to wash and chop the giant curly, outrageous looking leaves.

3 1/2 lbs russet/baking potatoes, scrubbed, cubed 1.5″
4 c washed and chopped kale
8 c water
1/2 lb sweet onion, minced fine
1 qt whole milk
12 oz bacon, chopped and cooked thoroughly
6 oz country ham, minced
6 oz colby cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 t dry thyme
1/4 t powdered garlic
1/4 t dry basil

  • sauté bacon bits and ham in a deep soup pot until thoroughly cooked and brown.  Remove meat to a bowl and set aside.  Deglaze the pot by adding the water and stirring bits of brown from the bottom.
  • add potatoes and onion to the pot and bring to a boil; cook until potatoes are falling apart and liquid is reduced by 1/2.
  • add kale and seasonings to the pot and return to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add milk, salt and pepper to taste and meat back into the pot and bring to a slow boil.  Serve as soon as piping hot.
  • Serve topped with cool shredded cheese. (and Tabasco if desired)
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