Smoked Potato Kale Soup

I got this really cool handheld smoker for my birthday this year.  Despite wanting this thing, I had my reservations about it. I didn't think it could possibly get smoke flavor into any ingredient with just a quick 15 minutes of "smoke marinade". I still wanted to try though! After my first attempt, I am still on the fence, but hopeful. This soup had a nice background smoke flavor to it. I ran the smoking gun 4 times while making this soup which seems like a lot to me to get just a "background smoke flavor", but I think after I get the hang of how to best use it, I can get better results with less smoking action.
To help drive the kale flavor in this soup, I sauted the kale stems in with the onion, carrot, and celery. Shaping up... The first time I ran the smoker, was to see if I could get any smoke flavor onto the cooked potatoes. I lightly broke them up after they came out of the oven and put them into a bowl with some plastic wrap on top. You may be familiar with this process from your college days. The whole bowl filled with a fragrant smoke in seconds! The smoke dissipated after about 10 minutes and I repeated the step. The potatoes had a very faint smoke flavor. In the future I think that if I did this in a zip top bag I would get better results. When you make kale chips, the best part isn't the crunch of them, it's the burnt flavor. I wanted that flavor in the soup. I was reminded of that flavor recently when I had an amazing kale salad at Ribelle in brookline. The final smoking happened in the blender. I put the veggies in here with some chicken stock, the potatoes, the kale, and a scoop of yogurt. I had to run 2 batches to get all the soup. I read that adding smoke to a blender with ingredients was a great way to use this smoking gun and I think it really did help add a decent amount of smoke flavor to the soup. I brought it back to a simmer because some of the ingredients like the potatoes had cooled off, and the yogurt was cold. A few of the crispy peices of kale to garnish the soup. This was really creamy without much actual dairy, and in fact a really healthy soup! The smoke flavor helped it feel more substantial and almost bacony.
 

Smoked Potato Kale Soup

For:  3 Bowls

  • 3 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • Butter
  • 1 qt Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 1/2 Cup Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Chop about 3 yukon potatoes and roast at 350 until tender. Smoke the potatoes if you have the ability to do so. If not, it's still gonna be delicious. Meanwhile dice up some onion, carrot(optional), celery(optional) and the stems from a bunch of kale. Saute the onion, carrot, celery and kale stems in a few tablespoons of butter until sweated and tender, about 10 minutes. Add in a quart of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Take the leaves of the kale and toss in olive oil and salt until coated. Roast about 10 minutes at 450 until browned and crisp. Add the whole mess to a blender with a bit of yogurt (I did 2 batches with a little of each ingredient in each batch.) Add one last puff of smoke into the blender and blend smooth. Return to the pot and bring to a simmer before serving. Serve with a little of that crispy reserved kale. I told you to reserve some kale right?