Who ever said that healthy and nourishing foods can’t also be downright delicious? Certainly no one who has ever prepared or tasted this healthy powerhouse of a soup, which packs as much flavor as it does nutritional value into every single bite. "Sweet potato is high in beta-carotene, and beta-carotene is good for protecting the body against free radicals and promotes healthy eyesight," says chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge. She continues to say, "Kale is [a] great [source of] vitamin C, [which] is great for the immune system."

This hearty sweet potato kale soup recipe also calls for quinoa, which, according to Healthline, is rich in nutrients, a solid source of protein, and features every single essential amino acid. It’s also chock-full of vitamins and fiber. As far as the garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary, and spices used in this recipe are concerned, those come with plenty of health benefits as well. This is a healthy dish, and one that can be filling enough to serve as a meal on its own or as a side dish as part of a larger meal.

Just keep one thing in mind, though: If you do serve the soup as a course in a larger meal, it may well upstage the entrée. Fair warning given!

Gather the ingredients to prepare this sweet potato kale soup

Whipping up a batch of this healthy soup per the portions laid out below will make three generous servings or four standard servings, but it’s so easy to scale it up for a bigger batch for a larger family or if you’re having company over, so don’t hesitate to prep a pot for a bigger gathering. Portions aside, the recipe calls for chicken broth, water, extra-virgin olive oil, diced sweet potato, minced cloves of garlic, fresh thyme, paprika, dried rosemary, onion, chopped kale, bay leaves, quinoa, chili powder, and cumin.

The best part is, most of these items you probably already have in your kitchen pantry, so your shopping list likely won’t be too long. And a note from Olayinka: "[It’s] totally fine to swap [the chicken broth] for veggie broth and make [the dish] vegan/vegetarian." Once your ingredients are all rounded up, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Prep the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and kale, then start cooking

Begin the recipe by peeling the sweet potatoes and dicing them into roughly bite-sized cubes. Next, dice the onion, mince the garlic, and de-stem and roughly chop the kale. You can (and probably should) simply rip the kale by hand. "Be sure to take the stalks off the kale, as they can be quite chewy," Olayinka cautions.

Then, put a medium-sized pot on the stove, turn the heat up to medium, and add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Now, add the kale, diced sweet potatoes, minced garlic, and onion to the pot, and stir to mix everything nicely.

Add the spices and broth, and let the pot simmer

Once the kale, sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic are in the pot, you’ll then add 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, ½ teaspoon of chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon of cumin to the pot. Be sure to mix everything together well.

Finally, add 4 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth), 1 cup of water, two sprigs of fresh thyme, three bay leaves, and ¼ cup of quinoa. Let the liquid come to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to medium-low, put the lid on the pot, and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.

Simmer the soup uncovered for 15 minutes more, then serve

Once the soup has simmered for 15 minutes with a cover on the pot, take the lid off, and give everything a good stir. Then, leave the pot uncovered, and let it cook for 15 minutes more at a low simmer. Your kitchen is probably smelling pretty delightful right about now, and the best part is, it’s almost time to eat.

Once the additional 15 minutes are up, cut the heat, stir again, and then you can serve out your portions! If you happen to have any leftovers, Olayinka says, "This stores well in the fridge for three days [but] I wouldn’t put it in the freezer, as the sweet potato will go soggy."

Serving suggestions

As far as serving suggestions are concerned, Olayinka has home cooks covered with some tasty ideas. "[This sweet potato kale soup] serves well with some good sourdough bread, or even some protein like chicken drumsticks or rotisserie chicken," she says. No matter the time of year — whether it’s a cold wintry day or a brisk fall afternoon — this soup (paired with your favorite bread for dunking) will seriously hit the spot. It’s a great appetizer to accompany a main meal when you have friends over for a dinner party, or it can be enjoyed as a hearty lunch when you’re getting cozy on the couch to watch your favorite show.