Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Pasta and Poached Eggs

This soup is ideal for gray and gloomy days—it’s the essence of relaxed cold weather cooking. Made with colorful vegetables, tiny pasta, and poached eggs, it’s comforting and will brighten your spirits in less than half an hour. The liquid egg yolk melts into the clear broth, making the soup almost creamy, while the pasta soaks up all the flavors, making it a little richer, more substantial. I like to use fregula sarda, toasted pearl-shaped pasta from Sardinia, which is tender and silky, but orzo or pearl couscous work well, too. Kale and sweet potato are a beauti­ful duo for a winter soup, but feel free to use white potatoes, parsnip, squash, or canned beans. This recipe welcomes any vegetable that can add subtle sweetness with open arms. You can poach the eggs in the soup, but I prefer to cook them separately.

The vegetables need to cook for about twenty minutes, so check the cooking time of your pasta and add it to the soup early enough that the pasta and vegetables will be done at the same time.

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Pasta and Poached Eggs Recipe

Serves 2-3.

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Pasta and Poached Eggs Ingredients

  • Olive oil, for sautéing and finishing
  • 1 small onion, cut in half
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut in half
  • 4 ounces (110 g) trimmed kale or cavolo nero leaves, cut into short strips
  • 9 ounces (250 g) peeled sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 2½ cups (600 ml) homemade or quality store-bought vegetable broth, hot
  • 6 medium sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • Fine sea salt
  • Finely ground pepper
  • 4 ounces (110 g) pearl-shaped pasta (fregula sarda, orzo pasta, or pearl couscous)
  • 2 to 3 large eggs

For the Soup

  1. In a medium pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, for a few minutes or until golden and soft.
  2. Add the kale and sweet potato, stir, and cook for 1 minute, then add the hot broth, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard the thyme and rosemary and cook for 10 min­utes, adding and cooking the pasta, according to the package instructions, so that the pasta and vegetables will be done at the same time.
  6. When the pasta and vegetables are tender, remove and discard the onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and keep warm.

For the Poached Egg

  1. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a low simmer.
  2. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl.
  3. Hold a large spoon just over the surface of the water and gently pour the egg onto the spoon. Lower the spoon into the water and hold until the egg white starts to turn white, then use a tablespoon to gently scoop the egg off the large spoon.
  4. Poach the egg for 3 minutes. Using a slotted ladle or spoon, transfer the egg to a plate.
  5. Poach the remaining eggs the same way, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a low simmer. You can poach 1 egg at a time or cook all of them together, watching the time for each individual egg.
  6. Divide the soup among bowls and place an egg in the middle of each bowl. Cut the tops of the eggs with a sharp knife and let the egg yolk run into the soup, then drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.

From Noon: Simple Recipes for Scrumptious Midday Meals and More by Meike Peters, © 2023. Published by Chronicle Books. Photographs © Meike Peters.

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