Oh boy, it’s Friday, finally! It’s been a busy week for me with lots of catching up to do after a stubbornly long episode of cold/flu/bronchitis. James claimed it was only a flu, but I’m convinced otherwise. I was basically chugging hot ginger tea with honey between doses of cough syrup (not effective at all, by the way), trudging along at work and trying to hide my coughing fits from coworkers, and from my mom, who found out anyway and made me take Chinese cough medication that contains snake bile (which sort of…worked…to my surprise). I didn’t get a chance to finish my posts on Peru last week, and I promise I’ll get to them this afternoon before I head out to sunny California! I haven’t taken a vacation longer than a week this year and I’m super excited to just relax by the beach, soaking up the sun, preferably with a drink in hand. I’ve also made a list of restaurants that I want to try – I’ll come back with a full report!
Anyway, back to this post. This white bean and kale soup is the kind of soup I wish I had made a huge pot of and put away in my freezer so that it’d be readily available whenever I want to eat it. There are loads of vegetables and beans, cooked in chicken stock, which will keep you full but not weigh you down. The soup is delicious, nourishing, and exactly the type of one-bowl meal you should be eating when you’re feeling under the weather. You can also eat this in bed. Guess how I found that out.
Kale is not one of my favorite vegetables, and I wish I like it more. Kale chips are healthy and so trendy right now – with many flavors out there – I would be in snack heaven. But I definitely love kale in soups. It has a sturdy texture, and doesn’t fall apart after long simmering like spinach does. I tried it with both fresh and frozen kale, and I highly recommend using fresh kale for this recipe if it is available in the market. The frozen kale leaves are too finely chopped in my opinion, and they end up floating on the broth so I usually stay away from frozen kale when making soups.
Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large (or 4 small) carrots, peeled and sliced
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 lb kale, rough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 14.5 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and carrots, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from burning. Add chicken stock, kale, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, covered, and cook until the carrots and kale are tender, about 20 minutes. Add beans and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.