Green Soup with Yams and Sage

I wanted to pass along this nutritious soup I made last week. Unfortunately, it’s not an original, it’s from the September/October 2011 issue of Eating Well magazine. I used sweet potatoes instead of yams, which add just a tiny bit of sweetness to it. With garlic, kale, and spinach, you just know it’s good for you!  I served it with a green salad and good bread with garlic and olive oil. Yum! 

Green Soup with Yams and Sage
As printed in the September/October 2011 issue of Eating Well magazine

(Photo courtesy Eating Well)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
2 large onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons plus 4 cups water, divided
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 large bunch Tuscan, lacinato or Russian kale
2 medium or 1 very large Japanese yam or regular sweet potato (about 1 1/4 pounds)
14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
8 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried
4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon agave nectar, or more to taste (optional) [Cook’s note: I didn’t use.]
16 fried sage leaves for garnish (see above) [Cook’s note: I bypassed this step.]

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in 2 tablespoons water, garlic and thyme and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 35 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove tough stems and ribs from kale and coarsely chop the greens. Peel yam (or sweet potato) and dice into 1-inch pieces. Coarsely chop spinach; set aside.

3. Combine the remaining 4 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add the kale, yam (or sweet potato) and sage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach, return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once halfway through, for 10 minutes more. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the soup. Add broth; return to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

5. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in cayenne, a few grinds of pepper and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. If the soup is sweet to your taste, add more lemon juice; if it’s too tart, add agave nectar, if desired. Just before serving, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the hot soup. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of oil and 2 fried sage leaves.

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