Quote of the week

If we were not intended to eat extraordinary food, we would not have been given such extraordinary senses of taste and smell.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

White Bean and Kale Soup

It's late winter, the snow just keeps on falling and the tempertures just keep staying COLD!!! What what do I do when I am feeling the winter blues? I throw on a pot of soup. Something hearty and warm, healthy and delicious. Whate bean and kale! Yep, that is what is on the menu.
What I love about make soup, it there are no real rules. You throw things in a pot and season until it tastes good. It is perfect for that "clean out the refrigerator' day!

For this soup, I used the basics:

1 pound dried white beans, rinsed and picked.
2 white onions, rough chop
2 bay leaves
Dash or two crushed red pepper flakes
4 large celery stalks, slice thick
4 large carrots, scrubbed clean, but skin on, sliced thick
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
5-6 basil leaves, julianned
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 15 ounce package/can of diced tomatoes
A large bunch of kale (about 3-4 cups) chopped.
water or chicken stock (whichever you prefer, there is also a vegetarian "chicken stock" powder sold in the bulk section of the local HyVee if you like)
sea salt, pepper

After white beans are rinsed, you can either do the overnight soak (put beans in pot and cover with 6-8 cups of water and let sit for 8 hours or over night), or you can do a quick soak (add beans to the pot and add 6-8 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil and let boil for two minutes. Cover and remove from heat and let stand for an hour. Once beans are soaked, rinse again. Throw beans in pot, add chopped onions and bay leaf. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and tilt the lid to let steam escape and cookf or an hour to hour and a half until beans are tender.
Add carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary and basil and add more water or stock to cover vegetables. Add a nice sprinkling of sea salt and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and  kale and stir. Simmer until kale wilts. Season to taste

** keep heat low and stir regularly to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom of pan.
** add any vegetable you like, parsnip, trunips, rutabagas, fresh parseley
** play with the seasonings to your liking
**finish with shredded parm if you like

I love to bake a fresh loaf of bread when I make a pot of soup. Fresh bread and homemade soup go togehter like peas and carrots! ( ;

Enjoy! Bon Appetite!!

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