Baked Potato and Greens Soup with Potato-Wedge Croutons

I know it’s been a while since Valentines Day, but I never finished sharing courses with you!

I left off on the second course – appetizers – so I still owe you courses 3-6!

Here’s the soup course (from the incredible Veganomicon), which was absolutely delicious, by the way. It made tons, so we had leftovers for days !

Baked Potato and Greens Soup

Sorry the picture’s blurry! I was in a hurry to get it served and eat it up!

Ingredients (for the Soup)
6-8 baking potatoes – baked and cooled. You’ll use some for the soup and some for the croutons! (I used 6 medium Russets)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds – crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine (I had Pinot Grigio on hand, so I used that)
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups kale, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup plain soy milk (which I neglected to add… So, optional?)

Ingredients (for the potato-wedge croutons)
2 heaping tablespoons coarse cornmeal
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
Generous pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic – minced
Enough olive oil to lightly pan fry.

The How To
Bake your potatoes in advance!
Saute onions in a soup pot in olive oil over medium-high heat until brown (about 10-12 minutes).
Slice baked potatoes in half lengthwise. Reserve three of the halves to make the wedges. Slice the rest into 3/4 inch chunks.
Once the onions are browned, add garlic, fennel, thyme, sage, black pepper, and salt. Cook 2 more minutes, then add wine to deglaze the pan.
Add chunks of potatoes and broth, cover, and lower the heat a bit to  bring to a low boil. Mix in the kale.
Cover and cook for 15 to 20 more minutes!
For the wedges, slice the reserved potatoes in half lengthwise so you have six pieces.
Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Combine all the ingredients for the wedges (except the oil) on a plate. Wet the potato wedges with some water and dredge the two cut sides in the cornmeal mixture.
Lightly coat the skillet with oil. Cook the potatoes on each side for about 4 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

The recipe in the book says to use a potato masher to mush up about half the soup, add the soy milk, and mix… but honestly, I think I forgot to keep reading at that point.

I’m pretty sure I left out the soy milk altogether, and I left my potatoes in full chunks.

The finished product I came up with was SO good, but I’m sure following the directions to completion would also bring forth delicious results.
I say do what you want. Haha.
Either way, ladle your soup into bowls and top with a potato wedge croutons.

Tips:
As I said before, I didn’t mash any of my soup, and I left out the soy milk. Be like me if you want, or don’t.
The crouton recipe also doubles as a super yummy french fry recipe!

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