January 30, 2015

Kale and White Bean Soup



Growing up in Florida, I never really appreciated the greatness of a warm bowl of soup. Then, I experienced my first New Jersey winter.

At first, as a broke college kid, I turned to the semi-familiar Ramen noodles... Those cheap simple noodles coupled with that sodium-laden broth, (which still holds a place in my heart), were my first foray into my new found love of soup. Next came an obsession with the corn chowder sold at the Au Bon Pain on campus. (A big step up!)

More than ten years later, I still enjoy a good bowl of soup... particularly when there is snow on the ground.

The other day, in preparation for our "big snow", I made a pot of this soup to keep me warm- and to freeze for another cold day! (Having two kids in the house is inspiring me to make ahead more meals.) It was perfect. Comforting, simple and quick to make- this soup is a great way to stay warm and enjoy some veggies (although, I'd bet it would also be good with some bacon or sausage too!).

Kale and White Bean Soup
Makes 6-8 servings

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped carrots
2 14.5 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
small bunch fresh thyme
8 oz fresh kale

Add oil to heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots and thyme to pan; saute, stirring occasionally, until onions/carrots are softened- about 5 minutes. Add half of beans, slightly mashing with fork. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil. Add the remaining beans, along with salt, pepper, and kale. Reduce heat and simmer until kale is tender- about 20 minutes. Serve as-is, or with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

(Makes a great lunch when paired with half of a cheese sandwich!)

Enjoy!

*If freezing for later, ladle into tupperware container, leaving room at the top. If stored correctly, soup should last in freezer for 2-3 months.

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