I have two younger sisters who have denounced my tendency to “make stuff up,” as they judge it, in terms of knowledge of a wide variety of things. It is true, that when I was younger I would say things very authoritatively without full confirmation of actuality. I called it guesstimations; they had a less polite phrase for it. Needless to say this little story pertains to today’s recipe.
After whipping up this thick soup the other night and deciding that it was blog-worthy, I dubbed it a “potage” because that just felt right. Low and behold when I did a bit of internet searching it turns out my instincts were right. Vindication of my guesstimation abilities!
A potage is a thick soup or stew, made with pureed vegetables, broth and optional cream. My version is pretty simple but really delicious. Slow sweated leeks and shallots cooked with bean broth and a little beans for heft and the addition of the green kale for color and vitamins. I ate this three lunches in a row and loved it every time (and the soup held its green color as well! Yeah for hearty kale!)
1 large leek, about 1 lb
1 bunch Tuscan kale (aka black, dinosaur kale) chopped in 1/2 inch ribbons
2 shallots, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cooked white beans (cannelini, great northern, navy)
1-2 cups bean juice
2-3 cups water (liquid from bean stock and water should equal 4 cups)
To clean leek, trim off the root end and cut entire leek in half. Wash under cold water, fanning out leeks to ensure no grit is trapped between layers. Cut off only the most green part and discard. Slice leek very thinly in half moon slices. In large sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and shallots and turn heat down to low. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir to blend. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes until leeks are soft and begin to release their juices. Add kale and cook another 3-4 minutes until kale begins to soften. Add bean stock and water to equal 4 cups of liquid and add beans. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and either allow to cool if pureeing in a blender or use a hand held blender to puree soup.
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