The packaged precooked polenta that comes in a log thickens this healthy, quick, and comforting soup. If you add red beets as part of the chopped seasonal vegetables, the soup will turn pink, unless you use varieties that don’t bleed, like golden or Chioggia beets.
- avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
- mushrooms, sliced
- onion, chopped
- potatoes, sliced
- jalapeño or serrano chile, sliced (optional)
- chopped seasonal vegetables (such as carrots, celery, fennel bulb, cauliflower, and beets)
- kosher salt
- chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
- packaged precooked polenta, sliced and cubed
- greens (such as chard, kale, collards, or beet greens), stems removed and leaves finely sliced
- herbes de Provence or fresh or dried rosemary and thyme
- chopped fresh parsley
- freshly ground pepper
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms in one layer and cook, undisturbed, until sizzling and browned. Move the mushrooms to the side of the pot, add the onion and potatoes, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Stir in the chile and chopped vegetables, season with salt, cover, and cook until the vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes become saucy.
- Add the polenta and water just to cover the contents of the pot. Cover and bring the soup to a simmer. Let the polenta cook for a few minutes so that it softens, then mash the polenta against the side of the pot. Cook until the polenta is well integrated into the soup and the vegetables are cooked through.
- Stir in the greens until wilted. Then add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.