Wednesday, August 15, 2012

White Bean and Kale Soup

I was excited to see some kale in our Bountiful Basket this week.  Though it may look like lettuce, kale is actually a form of cabbage.  It is a true "super food!"  Kale is high in beta carotene, vitamins C & K, lutein, and calcium.  It also contains sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which have been shown to boost DNA repair of cells and have anit-cancer properties.  Despite the health benefits kale doesn't seem to be very popular, probably because it tastes a little, well, intense, shall we say.

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So what to do with all of that kale?  Being the busy gal that I am, I like to have meals made-ahead.  It's nice to be able to come home and just warm something up rather than having to prepare it from scratch.  Enter some white bean and kale soup!  It is hearty, easy, and uses only Bountiful Basket ingredients plus some pantry staples.  This is a soup that tastes way better as leftovers, so it's perfect to make ahead and warm for easy meals.

White Bean and Kale Soup
Makes 4 2 cup entree servings

1 cup dried white beans (canneloni, navy, etc.)
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups kale, chopped (this was the amount I received in my basket)
1/2 lb ground sausage (I used spicy pork sausage, but any will do)
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
32 oz low sodium vegetable broth
6 cups water
Additional salt, pepper, and water to taste

Place beans in a bowl and cover with water.  Allow to soak for 24 hours. Drain.

Soak, baby, soak

Brown sausage in your pot over medium.  Remove, leaving the drippings in the pot, and set aside.

A deliciously greasy mess

Add some olive oil to the drippings.  Sauté the onions and garlic in the dripping/oil mixture until the onions release their aroma and start to become translucent.

Add beans, carrots, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, broth, and water.  Stir well and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans become tender (for me, this was about an hour).

Add the kale and the sausage.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until kale becomes tender and slightly wilted (for me, this was about 20 minutes).

Thin with additional water, if desired.  We prefer our soups on the chunky side!  Salt and pepper to taste.

Kale-y goodness!

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