Saturday, August 9, 2008

Baked Potato and Greens Soup with Potato-wedge Croutons

Serves 6. Takes 30 minutes.

6-8 baking potatoes (3 1/2 pounds) baked and cooled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced into short strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 tsp salt
Plenty of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine or more broth
4 cups veggie broth
4 cups kale, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 leaves, rough stems removed)
1/4 cup plain soy milk

Potato wedges:
2 heaping tbsp coarse cornmeal
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
Generous pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil

Once your potatoes are baked and cool enough, preheat a soup pot and saute the onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until good and brown, about 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 the garlic, fennel, thyme, sage, black pepper, and salt. Cook for 2 more minutes and then add the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the chunks of potatoes and the 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 minutes more.

Slice the reserved potato halves lengthwise. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium0high heat. Combine all ingredients for the wedges, except the oil, on a plate.Wet the wedges and dredge them 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. Spray with oil as you alternate cooking sides. The soup should be done by this point. Use a potato masher to mush up about half of the soup, add the soy milk, and mix.

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