Chicken, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

| 2/18/2013 4:39:00 PM

I made this soup for my mom when she was recovering from major surgery here at our home. She spent the first couple of weeks in a hospital and rehab facility where the food was truly awful. I brought her little farmers market treats like sliced tomatoes and strawberries to remind her that not all food comes from boxes and cans, but man, the overall effect of feeding healing people crap food is seriously depressing.

She was so glad to make the jump to our house where she could nosh on whatever appealed from my recipe testing/writing, while starting to cook for herself again, too. She couldn't eat more than a few bites of anything at a time—and all she was truly hungry for was sweets, ha—but I’ll never forget the killer BLT she made herself at one point—thick with a perfect tomato and a pile of freshly picked lettuce—and managed to eat half of it.

Baby steps on the road to recovery that signaled a slow return to normal.

She also managed a few bites of this soup, which really hits the spot on a colorless winter’s day. I love chicken soup for its endless versatility, and of course for its soothing, healing deliciousness. I studded this version with kale, sweet potatoes, garlic and just a spot of bacon (because my mom loves bacon).

chicken, kale and sweet potato soup
Photo By Stephanie Meyer

Chicken, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

• 1 roasting chicken (about 3 pounds), patted dry
• 1 tablespoon bacon fat or vegetable oil
• 2 yellow onions: 1 coarsely chopped, 1 diced
• 6 cloves garlic: 3 smashed, 3 minced
• 2 ribs celery: 1 halved, 1 diced
• 2 carrots: 1 halved, 1 diced
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 6 cups water
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to finish
• 2 slices bacon, diced
• 1/2 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale, ribs removed and sliced thin
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 large garden-ripe tomato, diced
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Freshly grated Parmesan cheese