Kale & Sweet Potato Soup

Kale & Sweet Potato Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Kale & Sweet Potato Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Kale & Sweet Potato Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

We’ve turned on the heat. On the afternoons when the cold is seeping into my bones I nudge the thermostat up a couple of degrees. We’ve had four fires in our fireplace. Jonah even acquired one third of a cord of wood (which is a lot). I am drinking tea most mornings. The leaves are fiery red, more neon than I remember them being in years past. I think I’m so excited about all of this because I missed fall last year. I’ve always loved fall for many of the usual reasons: sweaters, tea, cozy gatherings with family and friends. But this year it all seems bigger. Last year we went pretty much straight from summer in Portland to more summer in Thailand, and then straight into winter in Germany. I missed my favorite season and some of my favorite ingredients.

But having more appreciation isn’t the only thing that’s different. There have been little things in our day to day lives that have altered since we started making this home. It seems silly, but I used to be very particular about leftovers, and often didn’t really like eating them very much. These days I am a leftover guru: combining bits from different meals to make something completely new and also really good (if I do say so myself). I am working on going with the flow more, and am getting better every day. And this season I am determined to confront my mediocre feelings toward soup. It’s not that I hate soup at all – I don’t even dislike it. But there is always something I would rather eat (the exception to this is matzoh ball soup). But with a new kitchen, a new dutch oven, and a new perspective on leftovers, I’m going to conquer soup.

I made this decision over a month ago when we arrived in Chicago for our wedding. Once we hauled our suitcases into the living room at Jonah’s parents’ house after a long day of travel, my mother-in-law asked if we wanted something to eat. She scooped rice into a bowl and topped it with this light coconut broth, simmered kale, and sweet potatoes. There was a healthy pinch of cilantro, and she got out the hot sauce for us to liberally drizzle over. I took one bite and was convinced that I needed to re-examine my relationship with soup. I ate this for the next three days for lunch, secretly sneaking into the kitchen for a slightly early lunch so I would get to it before Jonah’s family finished it off. It was selfish, but I couldn’t help myself.

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

Yields roughly 3 quarts of soup


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 bunch curly kale, derided and chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, cubed into 1/2-1 inch cubes
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 13.5-oz. can of coconut milk
1-2 limes
1-3 tsp sriracha or similar hot sauce
cilantro sprigs and rice for serving


Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and garlic, sautéing until the onion is starting to brown at the edges. Add the chili flakes, kale, sweet potatoes, and broth, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover, cooking until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 8-10 minutes. (Now is a good time to start cooking your rice!)

Add the can of coconut milk, juice of one lime, and 1 tsp of sriracha, stirring to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more lime, sriracha, or salt.

Put a scoop of rice in a soup bowl and ladle the soup over, and top with a few leaves of cilantro to serve.