To be honest, I did not expect to find pleasure in a bowl of kale and potato soup this time of year. These are days when my thoughts meander towards the promise of spring ingredients like peas and asparagus. But when a CSA delivery of curly green kale and red potatoes coincided with the arrival of a cold front, I was suddenly grateful for the comfort and nourishment of soup.
I have made this soup on several occasions, sometimes using curly leafed kale, other times black kale. The potatoes vary, too, depending on what I have in the pantry. The constant is the deeply flavorful broth, which contains woodsy smoked paprika, rosemary, and thyme. Savory and comforting, this soup is an excellent reminder to appreciate the gifts of winter, even when you're on the cusp of spring.
Kale and Potato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 pound Yukon Gold or red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 4 sprigs thyme 1 sprig rosemary 1 bay leaf 8 cups water 1 small bunch kale, center stems removed and leaves cut into thin ribbons Salt and freshly ground black pepper