Creamy Bacon Kale Potato Soup for A Rainy Day (or Any Day) - Slow Cooker Recipe

I used to not like Kale. I wouldn't say I hated it but I found it bitter and weird. I didn't understand why people liked it so much, but recently I was surprised to find that I have grown to love Kale. A few years ago we started making crispy kale chips (super easy) from purchases at farmer's market. From our recent stay in Ottawa, I really enjoyed Farm Boy's super tasty kale caesar salad so much so that I started to make kale salads at home.

I was craving hot soup during a stretch of rainy days in Edmonton. In a mission to "clear out the fridge" I did a quick inventory looking for ingredients to put into a soup. My eyes landed on the kale that had been sitting in the fridge for the past week and the last of the potatoes (some of which were sadly looking a bit suspicious). Combine the above with the bacon in our freezer we had a winning combination for soup!

I used the slow cooker function on our instant pot to make the soup but you can also do this as a pressure cooker or over the stove top as well.

Ingredients for Bacon Kale Potato Soup
  • 1 package bacon (reserve 4-5 strips for soup topping)
  • 1 onion; diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic; diced
  • 5 - 6 medium sized yellow potatoes; washed, peeled and cut
  • 1 carton (900mL) no salt added chicken stock (6 cups) 
  • bundle of kale leaves; washed 
  • 1 cup of milk or cream (optional)

Directions for Bacon Kale Potato Soup
  1. Prep ingredients. Wash, peel and cut potatoes. Dice garlic and onions. 
  2. Prep kale leaves by cutting off the hard stems and keeping only the leaves. Wash and dry kale leaves.
  3. Turn on the saute mode of the Instant Pot and place 6-7 strips of bacon inside. If making this recipe on the stove top, use a heavy bottomed dutch oven or similar. Remember to reserve a few pieces to cook later. 
  4. Saute until the bacon is partially cooked and then add in the diced onions and garlic. 
  5. Continue stirring until the bacon pieces are cooked and the onion has browned (about 8 minutes).
  6. While still on saute mode, add in the potato pieces and stir for a minute.
  7. Turn off saute mode and add in the chicken stock.
  8. Switch to slow cook mode and allow the soup to slow cook for 8 hours. 
    • pressure cooking: use the pressure cook mode and pressure cook the soup for approximately 12 minutes. Allow to naturally release. 
    • stove top: turn element to high and then once the soup bubbles turn down to a simmer. Allow soup to cook uncovered on the stove top for at least an hour or until the potatoes have softened. Stir occasionally. Use a fork to check softness.
  9. While soup is cooking, fry reserved strips of bacon in a separate pan. Fry until crispy. Take off pan and pat dry bacon between sheets of paper towels. This helps to remove extra bacon oil. Break into smaller pieces when cool.  (reserve bacon oil for other cooking adventures).
  10. After the soup is finished cooking, blend soup until smooth. Use a stick blender or carefully transfer to a blender (vitamix or similar) to blend until desired consistency.  
  11. Transfer soup back to the instant pot, and turn back onto saute mode. Once the soup bubbles add in a handful of kale leaves. As the soup is still hot it will slightly cook down the kale leaves. 
  12. Add in a cup of milk or cream if using at this stage. 
  13. Assemble your soup. Pour into your favourite bowl (in my case one of my newest wheel thrown bowls) and top with crispy bacon and kale.
one of the biggest wheel thrown bowls I have made so far! Isn't it lovely?
We paired our Creamy Bacon Kale Potato Soup with some homemade mushroom arancini. You can find the recipe for my arancini here
Crispy Mushroom Arancini sitting in one of my wheel thrown pots. 
This is a super quick recipe that I hope you will make. It is perfect for a rainy day or any day for that matter. The savoury bacon pairs perfectly with the "healthy veggie" kale flavour. You can control the hearty-ness of the soup with the amount of potatoes you used. The addition of the cream or milk does make this soup more creamy, but it is optional.


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