This soup has a variety of textures. Smooth, pureed base with chicken, carrots and onions. If you'd like to make a vegetarian soup, simply leave the chicken out. To make it vegan, also substitute olive oil for the butter. Only green items are blended together, creating a nice green color. The carrots are left unblended to give a sweet bite but not dampen the nice green color.
1 lb chicken breasts (optional)
2 medium onions
2 large leeks
4 stalks celery (with leaves, if available)
3 kale leaves
2 medium potatoes, peeled
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp italian seasoning, rosemary, or oregano
salt, to taste
crushed red pepper
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter (or olive oil)
4 cups water (or 2 cups broth and 2 cups water)
Cut the chicken up into small bite-sized pieces, peel and chop the carrots and 1 onion. Stir fry the chicken, carrots, onion and crushed red pepper in olive oil. If cooking in the same kettle as you will cook the rest, remove and place in large bowl until later.
Separately, chop the potato into little cubes and stir-fry in olive oil (or butter). As it begins to cook add the leeks, celery, remaining onion, and herbs in olive oil. Once you can prick the celery with a fork (and before it turns mushy!) chop the kale, mince the garlic and add both. (In my photo below you do not see potato, as I had it precooked and added it later... But, this is about what the leeks and celery looked like when I added the kale...).
Give it a stir, remove from the heat and add 4 cups water (or water/broth combination).
Blend the leek mixture in several batches in the blender.
Place back in a large kettle, add the chicken/carrot mixture to it and slightly reheat together. Stir completely and serve. Store in fridge and eat within several days. Reheat individual portions on stovetop.