Sweet Potato, Kale and Beef Soup

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It is flippin' cold here.  I know, I'm technically not allowed to complain because I live in the coastal California region so according to East Coasters I don't really understand cold BUT, it was 35 degrees last night.  That is some legit cold action.  Many blankets and a space heater were liberally employed to warm my ass up.  And of course the final touch of cozying up the house is always making a big pot of something.  Beans, braises, stews whatever.  As long as there is a pot bubbling on my stovetop, I'm happy.

Enter my sweet potato, kale and beef soup.

I dig this recipe for so many reasons.   It's fast, nourishing (perfect for anyone who has come down that nasty cold going around) and most importantly, damn tasty. I made it for my friend Sarah recently and by the end of lunch we were strategically negotiating for the final bowl.  In the past I've made meatballs and added them to the soup.  Now I prefer to simply browning the meat with the meatball spices to save time.  Lovely compromise.

Beef, sweet potato, kale soup

Beef, sweet potato, kale soup

Sweet Potato, Kale and Beef Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

2 large sweet potatoes, or several small ones, peeled and diced

1 large white potato, diced (optional)

6 cups water or chicken stock

1 lb. kale, washed, dried, and chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

 Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, a touch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and a bit browned. Add the sweet potatoes, white potato and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in the pot to thicken the soup.  Add the chopped kale and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the kale is tender.

In a saute pan over medium heat, brown the meat with coriander, cumin and a touch of salt.

Add the meat to the soup and simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with parsley.   Enjoy!