There is no cream in this delicious soup—unless you decide to drizzle a bit over individual servings. The creaminess is achieved with the addition of potatoes, which are puréed into the soup, providing it with a velvety texture.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
4 slices bacon (optional, see Notes)
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon zest
½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 whole allspice
4 cups (1 L) lower-salt vegetable or chicken broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika, dissolved in 2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice (see Notes)
4 cups (1 L) chopped kale
Works best in a large (minimum 5 quart) slow cooker.
1. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towel and crumble. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Drain fat from pan.
2. Reduce heat to medium, add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest, peppercorns, bay leaf and allspice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add broth and stir well.
3. Stir in potatoes. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaf and allspice. Stir in paprika solution, kale and reserved bacon. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until kale is tender. Working in batches, purée soup in a food processor or blender. (You can also do this in the stoneware using an immersion blender.) Serve immediately.
If you are making this soup for vegetarians, omit the bacon and heat the 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and continue with the recipe.
You can use any kind of paprika in this recipe: regular, hot, which produces a nicely peppery version, or smoked, which adds a delicious note of smokiness to the soup. If you have regular paprika and would like a bit a heat, dissolve ¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper in the lemon juice along with the paprika.
This soup can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Complete Steps 1 and 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, continue with the recipe.