Why It Works
- A homemade vegetable stock is the best base for a tasty soup.
- Miso paste, soy sauce, and scallions add depth of flavor to a very simple soup.
This easy one-pot polenta and kale soup hails from Italy, but we give it a distinctly Japanese twist: In place of the Parmesan called for in a traditional recipe, we finish ours up with the addition of miso paste, soy sauce, and scallions. It's savory, rich, and 100% vegan.
This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and lightly updated to reflect test results; it no longer calls for Better Than Bouillon, a stock product that contains salt. Its removal (and the added specification that any stock used should be unsalted) should address comments about salt levels in the recipe.
6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek (about 10 ounces; 283g), white and light green parts only, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
Large pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup dried polenta (5 1/2 ounces; 156g)
3 1/2 ounces (99g) stemmed and roughly chopped lacinato kale (about 1 packed quart, from one 8-ounce bunch)
2 tablespoons (30g) white miso paste, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons (10ml) soy sauce, plus more to taste
4 medium scallions (about 3 ounces/85g total), thinly sliced (about 1 cup), divided
Toasted sesame oil, for serving
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil, leeks, and a pinch of salt over medium-low heat, stirring often, until very soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetable stock.
Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the polenta. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until polenta is tender and the soup is thickened, about 15 minutes.
Stir in kale, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in miso, soy sauce, and half of scallions until miso is fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and/or additional miso and soy sauce, if desired.
Serve, drizzling with sesame oil and sprinkling with remaining scallions. Extra soup can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
This Recipe Appears In
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||13%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 31mg||154%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|