The Perpetual Soup
My very favorite soup recipe was given to me by my very good friend Pao. I call it Pao’s Perpetual Soup because is it so good that it will last generations. I actually picture myself as an old woman making this soup for my grandchildren. As I ladle the soup into their bowls I tell them about the fun Pao and I used to have cooking and laughing, laughing and cooking.
You absolutely do not have to use the bacon. I have made it both with and without bacon and it is equally good. Instead of bacon just start with a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
1/2 packet of bacon – cut into lardons
3 red potatoes – chopped
1 onion – chopped
3 garlic cloves – peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
3 medium to large carrots – chopped
1 whole bunch of kale – leaves separated from stalks
1 can of corn
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 carton of chicken or vegetable broth
chili flakes to taste (optional)
Fresh grated parmesan
If starting with the bacon warm it in a heavy bottom pan until nice and crispy. Add the onion and garlic. Add the potatoes a few minutes later and mix to coat them in the bacon fat or oil. Add the carrots, corn, garbanzo beans, bay leaf and broth. If the broth is not enough to more or less cover all the veggies add some water. Add the kale, tearing it into pieces as you do. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. You can eat it really anytime but the longer it cooks the better it gets so I usually cook it for at least 45 minutes. And warmed up leftovers are even better!
To add homemade croutons you just need a baguette, olive oil, parmesan and sea salt. Break up the baguette and lay out the pieces on a baking sheet or roasting tray. Drizzle some olive oil over the bread and use your hands to see that the pieces get a light coating of oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and a bit of freshly grated parmesan and pop in a 450 degree oven until pieces are golden and crispy.
Serve the soup with a few croutons, a poached egg (if you like) and some fresh basil on top. Everyone will swoon…