¼ cup cubed pancetta OR 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 cups of stock of choice, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 medium apple, cored and chopped
¼ cup crème fraiche, mascarpone cheese, or plain yogurt
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the pancetta for 1 minute (if using), just until barely browning. If not using the pancetta, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet.
2. Add the kale and stir to coat. Add a sprinkle more olive oil if the kale starts to stick to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the kale begins to wilt. Add 2 cups of stock, lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the mixture to a blender, reserving some as a second batch if blender jar is more than ½ full.
4. In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onions with salt until just barely showing color. Add the chopped apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until apples have softened and onions are translucent.
5. Transfer mixture to blender, reserving half if you reserved half the kale mixture earlier.
6. Working in two batches, add half the remaining stock (1 cup) cover and puree until smooth. If working with one batch, add all the remaining stock and puree until smooth. When working with hot liquids, it’s wise to hold down the blender lid with a kitchen towel in case some liquid escapes when the motor is engaged.
7. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water until it reaches the desired consistency.
8. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche, mascarpone, or yogurt, and a few grinds of black pepper.