While I'm sure there are plenty of fans of the Irish mashed potato dish colcannon, I generally think anything with kale in it is a hard sell to most Americans.
So I decided to give this classic a makeover for more appeal while staying true to its spirit. It was easier than I thought.
First, I decided to do it as a soup, the base of which was easy – potatoes and onions simmered in chicken broth, then blended until smooth. A bit of cream and you basically have mashed potato soup. Not much to dislike there.
For the kale, I reached for a relatively new product – kale chips. Available at most natural foods stores and some larger grocers or easily made at home, these “chips” are made by seasoning and roasting fresh kale until crispy. The result is quite delicious, similar to the potato chips they aspire to be.
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Sprinkled over the potato soup, the kale chips add a nice salty, crunchy contrast to the smooth, creamy soup.
Since pig and potato go so nicely together, I couldn’t leave it at that. A bit of crisped prosciutto crumbled over the soup adds a savory touch without much fat.Kale Chip Colcannon Soup
Makes 6 servings.
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried dill
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 quart chicken broth
6 slices prosciutto
½ cup heavy cream
Salt AND ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup kale chips
In a large saucepan over medium-high, melt butter. Add onion and saute until just golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic powder, dill, minced garlic and potatoes. Saute for 4 minutes, then add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Spritz pan with cooking spray, then arrange 2 or 3 slices of prosciutto flat in pan. Fry, turning after 2 minutes, until browned and crisp on both sides. Repeat with remaining prosciutto, then set aside.
Using either an immersion blender or working in batches with a traditional blender, puree soup until mostly smooth. Some small chunks are fine.
Stir in cream, then return soup to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide soup among serving bowls. Top each with some kale chips, then crumble 1 slice of prosciutto over each.
Make your own chips
Can't find kale chips at the grocer? They're easy to make and can be done a day or so in advance.
Chop one bunch of kale into bite-size pieces (remove any thick stems).
Toss the pieces with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
Bake on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crunchy and dry.
Cool, then store in a plastic bag.