Sunday, December 14, 2014

Potato, Leek, and Kale Soup with Smoky Paprika and Roasted Garlic: Flavorful, Comforting and Satisfying for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I have been wanting to try caramelizing garlic in the slow cooker after seeing them do it on The Kitchen on Food Network so I put eight bulbs into two packets of foil in the crockpot on low and headed to bed. What to do with all those resulting lovely brown cloves the next morning? I knew I wanted a garlic soup this week--thick, with potato and smoky with the garlic and smoked paprika. This is a vegan soup, somewhat caldo verde-like with the kale, that I put together. With the caramelized garlic, the smoky paprika, and the herbs, it has several layers of flavor and pureeing some of the soup makes it creamy. A thick and utterly satisfying soup for a cool, windy and rainy day. 

Two heads of garlic may seem like a lot but the caramelizing mellows the flavor, rounds out  any sharp edges the garlic, brings out the sweetness.  

Potato, Leek and Kale Soup with Smoky Paprika and Roasted Garlic
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 8-10)

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white & light green parts, washed well, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tsp smoked paprika, and more to taste
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 
3-4 sprigs of fresh time
2 full heads worth of roasted/caramelized garlic paste (see garlic notes)
4 medium-large Yukon gold potatoes, chopped--large dice 
10 cups light veggie broth or stock (low-sodium preferred
4 cups fresh kale, tough stems removed and leaves sliced into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add leeks, carrot and celery with a small pinch of sea salt and reduce heat to medium. Saute veggies about 7-8 minutes until softened and celery is turning opaque. Add smoked paprika and saute another minute or two until fragrant. Add rosemary, thyme sprigs, garlic paste and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until potatoes and vegetables are tender. 

Remove thyme sprig stems and if desired, place two scoops of vegetables and broth into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into soup pot. Increase heat to medium and add kale, stirring into soup. Cook about 10 minutes until kale is tender. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and extra smoked paprika if desired.

Serve with toasted baguette--spread with additional garlic puree if desired. Enjoy!

Garlic Notes: I used this recipe from The Kitchen on Food Network to caramelize the garlic overnight (about 6 1/2 hours on low) in the slow cooker, then smashed two heads work into a rough paste and added it to the soup. Easy-peasy, and I made enough for other dishes and to slather on bread to serve with the soup.

Notes/Results: So rich, thick and good, this soup really hit the spot--it's a great combination of creamy, brothy and hearty stew-like textures. The smoky flavor is prominent but there is a sweetness to all the savory with the browned garlic, leeks, and carrots. You could use onions in place of leeks but I think the leeks add sweeter notes that go well with the rest of the ingredients. I am a fan of Yukon gold potatoes in soups--they hold their shape but still have that soft creamy potato feel and they puree well to thicken the soup. You might think it is garlic overkill (is there such a thing?!?) to spread more of it on pan-toasted baguette to top or serve with the soup but it adds an extra special touch (not to mention good flu and cold-fighting properties needed this time of year, and great vampire protection) so I highly recommend it. ;-) It's good I like this soup so much because I made a huge batch that I will happily pull out for lunches and dinner this week--maybe adding a runny-yolked poached or fried egg on top for a little protein. I can see it pairing well with the kale and garlic. I would make this again. 

A couple of good friends await in the Souper Sundays kitchen, let's see what they brought.   

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food shares this Vegetarian Spicy (Hot) Sour Soup and says, "Mild and harmless-looking, this is not your usual noodle soup. The kick of Thai red chili and Chinese black vinegar can just wake up your senses anytime of the day. So never judge a book by its cover. Not the Szechuan hot (spicy) and sour soup that you may order off the menu of a Chinese restaurant; however, the spice and sourness is as close as it gets. ... Often, a pot of soup represents a side (additional) dish complementing other mains and sides; but you can always dunk in noodles and make it a main dish."

Janet of The Taste Space brings Eat Your Greens Soup with Edamame and says, " is filled with a nicely fragrant broth made from ginger, cumin with a touch of cinnamon and filled with loads and loads of vegetables. Mushrooms, broccoli and carrot. Sometimes I use kale or collards, sliced into thin strips, but this time I used a crunchy cruciferous mix of kale, cabbage and brussels sprouts for more variety.  I also continued with the green theme and used frozen edamame as my protein of choice. It fits well with the uniquely Asian twist brought by the last minute addition of shredded nori."

Thanks to Tigerfish and Janet for joining me this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week! 



  1. great round-up, have a good week!

  2. That looks like the perfect soup!

  3. With caramelized garlic AND smoked paprika, you know this has to be a winner.

  4. teczcape.blogspot.comDecember 15, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Looks like a soupy week! And your potato leek kale soup has just been made more "wintry" with the warming smoked paprika and roasted garlic.

  5. Gluten Free A-Z BlogDecember 16, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    omg! What a comfort soup. I could curl up near the fireplace with a bowl of that hearty soup right now. Looks so good.

  6. Thanks Judee--it is a big bowl of comfort. ;-)

  7. Thanks for joining me this week Tigerfish! ;-)

  8. Two of my very favorite things Joanne. ;-)

  9. Thanks Alicia--I was happy how well it turned out. ;-)


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