Last week, my good friend Jenn K. sent me this recipe for two-bean soup with kale. I’d told her a while back that I was looking for some vegetarian fare, and besides being one of the most patient moms I know, Jenn is also a trove of great vegetarian recipes (I’ll be making them in the coming weeks, just for my vegetarian friends!). Because I already had the ingredients on hand, I decided to make this soup yesterday while Jack was at preschool, so I would have dinner taken care of and be free to take the boys to the park in the afternoon. Little did I know the soup would be so awesome that I would end up eating two big bowls before lunch time! It’s filling, it’s flavorful, it’s comforting, and (best of all!) it’s only 260 calories for a generous 1.5-cup serving. That means you can definitely have a hunk of bread with the soup (Jenn says asiago bread is a wonderful pairing, and I believe her!) and/or a light dessert after dinner. Thank you for this keeper of a recipe, Jenn!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (or one small onion)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth, divided
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini (i.e., white kidney) beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (don’t skip this; the vinegar really contributes to the soup’s flavor)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (I skipped this because I’m not a rosemary fan)
Rinse the kale leaves, then prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the thick, woody stem. If you’ve never worked with kale before, you can save a lot of time by folding the two halves of each kale leaf toward each other, so that the long stem on the back of the leaf is exposed.
Once the leaves are folded together, grab the exposed stem with your other hand and tear it away from the leaves. Ta-da! Kale leaf removal in a matter of seconds. After you’ve removed the kale leaves, chop them up and set them aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.
Place half of the cannellini beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannellini beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary.
Those of you who just can’t fathom a meal without meat can add some browned Italian sausage or rotisserie chicken to the soup (it must be refreshing for vegetarians to read about how meat eaters can modify a vegetarian recipe, instead of the other way around! :)).