Italian Potato-Pasta Soup with Greens

My husband is not partial to brothy soups. Making this one required some convincing, but I was able to win him over by the inclusion of pasta and potatoes. By the way, he loved it. 🙂

This wonderful soup recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I increased the onions, garlic, and kale, and added fresh lemon juice. I also used my homemade turkey stock. We ate it with a green salad, of course, and sliced sourdough baguette. It was surprisingly filling! Absolutely delicious too.

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
  • 2 cups+ diced onion (I used 1 1/2 large onions)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced fennel or celery
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large thyme sprig or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • parmesan rind, optional
  • 3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used  2 quarts of homemade turkey stock and 1 quart of chicken stock)
  • 2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled (if desired) and cut in 1-inch chunks (I skipped peeling the potatoes)
  • 6 to 8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into 1/2-inch ribbons (about 6-7 cups total)
  • ½ pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  1. In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and fennel, stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
  2. Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika tomato paste, and parmesan rind (if using), and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  4. Add the fresh lemon juice and stir to incorporate.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil, if desired. Pass extra Parmesan at the table.

Note: If making ahead of time, do not add the pasta until reheating.

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Caramelized Leek & Potato Soup

This is not the typical potato-leek soup. The leek to potato ratio is doubled in this recipe, making it much sweeter as a result. It is also served chunky. It tasted like a combination of French onion soup (with all of the caramelized leeks) and scalloped potatoes (with all of the thinly sliced potatoes).

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. (I love her!) I incorporated some frozen leeks and turkey stock. I also increased the amount of garlic and potatoes and modified the garnish. I increased the cooking time to allow the leeks to be fully caramelized prior to adding the additional ingredients as well.

Although not necessary, before serving, we added a dollop of sour cream (my husband) and Greek yogurt (me!) to the soup to add a little bit of richness. It would be wonderful with a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream as well. We ate it with warm bread and green salad on the side. SO hearty and tasty!

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh leeks (about 6) white and light green part only
  • 1 pound frozen leeks, thawed, picked over, and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 4 large sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 large sprigs parsley, and chopped leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or water (I incorporated 4 cups of Turkey Stock)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and thinly sliced (I used baby gold potatoes)
  • heavy cream, sour cream, or Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
  1. Halve the fresh leeks lengthwise and thinly slice the leeks crosswise. Place in a large bowl and cover with water. Swish to remove the grit. Using a slotted spoon, scoop leeks out from the top of the bowl removing as much water as possible.
  2. In a small square of cheesecloth, tie together bay leaves, thyme, sage, parsley and celery leaves if using.
  3. Melt the butter into the oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are soft and dark golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the garlic for the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  4. Stir in stock and/or water, the sachet of herbs, the salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce immediately to medium-low; simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the potatoes and simmer soup until potatoes are very tender and falling apart, about 45 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  8. If desired, dollop sour cream or yogurt on top or drizzle a small amount of cream into each bowl when serving. Top with parsley or thyme for garnish.

I’m bringing this to share with my friends at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 this week hosted by Suzanne @ A Pug in the Kitchen and Zeba @ Food for the Soul. Come join the fun! 🙂

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Chorizo-Potato Tacos

These tacos were so simple to prepare, I was a little bit skeptical that they would be good. But- once again– Rick Bayless didn’t let me down! (I am such a fan.) He said that chorizo is the Mexican version of bacon- it just makes everything better. In this case, a little bit went a long way. I seriously couldn’t believe how delicious they were!

This recipe was adapted from RickBayless.com. I used one pound of baby gold potatoes, jarred Frontera Jalapeño Cilantro salsa, and added feta cheese to the toppings. We ate them with sautéed greens, refried beans, and Basmati rice. Quick and fabulous!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 pound (16 oz) baby gold potatoes (or other boiling potatoes), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 12 oz fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed, about 1 link
  • 1 large white onion, cut into small pieces
  • coarse salt
  • 12 warm corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup Frontera Roasted Tomatillo Salsa or Jalapeño Cilantro Salsa, or to taste
  • 1 avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and sliced
  • feta cheese, to taste, for serving
  • chopped cilantro, to taste, for serving

  1. Scoop the potato into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave on high for 3 minutes. (I used my new “steam ship” silicone lid which releases the steam in the microwave!)
  2. Lay the chorizo and onion in a very large (12-inch) skillet (preferably non-stick) and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up clumps, until the fat renders, the sausage looks cooked, and the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  3. Scoop the potatoes, leaving the steaming liquid behind, into the skillet and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. If the potatoes begin browning long before they’re soft, reduce the temperature a little.
  4. Taste and season with salt if you think the mixture needs it—some chorizo is so highly seasoned, little additional salt will be needed.
  5. Cover the tortillas with a damp paper towel and warm tortillas in a tortilla warmer (or on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap) in the microwave for 1 minute.
  6. To serve, scoop the mixture into a deep bowl. Set out with the feta cheese, cilantro, salsa, avocado and warm tortillas.

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Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula, & Garlic Yogurt

I love the trend of making a complete meal on a single sheet-pan- absolute genius! This is a wonderful springtime version that has it all… (at least for me!) Chicken thighs, arugula, leeks, harissa, garlic yogurt, and potatoes (for my husband 🙂 ). A complete meal- including salad!

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, Greek yogurt, and modified the plating as well as the cooking time. Easy & delicious!!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (8-10 thighs)
  • 1 ÂĽ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons harissa (or use another thick hot sauce, such as sriracha)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon)
  • â…“ cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 ounces baby arugula, or more, as desired
  • Chopped fresh dill, as needed
  • Lemon juice, as needed
  1. Combine chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together harissa, cumin and 3 tablespoons oil. Pour over chicken and potatoes and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine leeks, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.
  4. Heat oven to 425 degrees (I used the convection roast setting). Arrange chicken and potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Roast 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from the oven and toss potatoes lightly. Scatter leeks over pan. Roast until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 30 minutes longer.
  6. While chicken cooks, place yogurt in a small bowl. Grate garlic over yogurt and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, scatter dill over the chicken and vegetables in the pan. Place a generous handful of arugula on each plate. Spoon chicken and vegetables over the arugula. Dollop yogurt sauce over the chicken. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice and serve. (I served each plate with lemon to squeeze over the top, as desired.)

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Spinach-Potato Soup

This soup is GREEN! Healthy and loaded with greens but comforting, warm, and tasty as well. The heartiness from the potatoes sold it to my husband. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook The New Classics: More than 1,200 Recipes for Every Occasion by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living. I increased the garlic, substituted homemade turkey stock for chicken stock (vegetable stock could be used for a vegetarian version) and used a mixture of baby kale, chard, and spinach in lieu of spinach alone. We ate it with warm French rolls and a green salad. Nice!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 5 small) Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 quart homemade turkey or chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 pounds mixed greens (baby kale, chard, and spinach) or spinach, tough stems removed, rinsed well and dried
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and potatoes; stir to coat. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the wine, stock, and 2 cups water into the pan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the greens into the pan, and cook until wilted and bright green, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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Broccoli Spinach Puree

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The first time I ever tried this dish my husband (then boyfriend) made it for me. I had never made a vegetable puree (it was in my pre-kid/pre-baby food era) and I couldn’t believe how absolutely delicious it was! I decided to use my beautiful CSA broccoli, spinach, and kale for this version. We ate it as a side dish with grilled chicken, but it would be elegant with some sort of seared meat or fish placed on top of it on the plate. This recipe was adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. I used shallots in lieu of onions, unpeeled yukon gold potatoes instead of a russet potato, and incorporated kale. Lovely!

  • 4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 large shallots or 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes (unpeeled) or 1 small russet potato (peeled), diced
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli (2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used 1/2 cup Wild Mushroom Stock and 1 cup chicken stock)
  • 3 cups slivered spinach leaves (I used a combination of spinach and kale), well rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 T finely grated lemon zest
  1. Melt the butter over low heat in a large sauté pan (with a lid). Add celery, onion, and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 10 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the broccoli: Cut 1/4-inch off the bottom of the stem, and separate the stem from the head. Peel and then cut the stem into thin slices crosswise; quarter the slices.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of florets from the head of the broccoli. Chop the remainder of the head into small pieces.
  4. Add the chopped stems and head to the wilted vegetables, along with the stock. Cover, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli florets with 1 T of water in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Add the spinach, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to the cooked vegetables, and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Pulse in the lemon zest. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  8. Transfer the puree to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the reserved broccoli florets. Serve immediately.

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Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder

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Corn chowder made with fresh corn is heavenly. I make a Barefoot Contessa version in the late-summer/early-fall EVERY year. This chowder recipe is from one of my favorite blogs- I have a LONG long LONG list of her recipes bookmarked to try- this one was wonderful and I am sure it’s no exception. I adapted the recipe slightly by increasing the corn, potatoes, and garlic, using half & half in lieu of heavy cream, and by adding optional sour cream and cheese to offset the spiciness. So spicy!! So delicious!! This recipe was adapted from The Novice Gardener.

Servings: 6-8

  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 large Yukon-gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed into bite-size pieces
  • kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, cilantro, and/or chives), chopped (I used a generous 1/2 cup of cilantro)
  • coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • ricotta salata, for sprinkling, optional
  • sour cream, for serving, optional
  1. Roast poblanos either under the broiler or over direct flame on gas stove, until charred and blistered, about 5 minutes per side. Immediately place in a bag and seal or place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel the skins and remove seeds and membranes. Rinse chiles and then roughly chop.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Broil until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Cube into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat oil; add onion, garlic, and celery. Sauté until vegetables are cooked. Add cumin, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add stock, potatoes, roasted poblanos, corn, and chicken. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.
  5. Add half & half. Lower heat to a simmer.
  6. Add fresh herbs. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

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