Friday, February 19, 2010

Soup of the Week: White Bean and Kale Soup

Kale is a super nutritious green that many people find intimidating to prepare, and this is the easiest, most delicious way I've found to prepare it. I based my recipe on the recipe found in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, but I've made a few modifications to make it every more delicious as noted below.

Ingredients:
  • Three 14 ounce cans vegetable broth "[I use 5 1/2 cups bone soup, stock of choice, and/or water--combine whatever you have on hand for a richer flavor]
  • One 15-ounce can tomato puree [I sometimes use an extra large can of crushed tomatoes with basil]
  • 1 can white, cannellini, or great nothern beans [or whatever you prefer]
  • 1/2 cup converted rice [I use 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice]
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb kale [1 'bunch'], washed, stems removed, and leaves coarsely cut on the diagonal into wide ribbons and coarsely chopped [approx 6-8 packed cups]
  • 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage (optional), cooked all the way through in a saute pan, cooled, and thickly sliced [I prefer to remove the casing, crumble, and cook like browning ground beef]

For Serving:
  • Finely shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the broth, tomato puree, beans, rice, onion, garlic, and basil in the slow cooker, season with salt and pepper, and stir to blend. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 7 hours.

2. Stir in the kale and sausage, if using, cover, and continue to cook on LOW until the kale is limp and tender, another 20-30 minutes. When you add the kale, it will fill the cooker at first; you can add it in batches if you need to. [If the soup is too thick, add water.]
Serve your soup with a dollop of olive oil and a generous shredding of Parmesan cheese on top. You will love the flavor, hardly notice the kale texture, and enjoy an abundance of energy after eating such nutrient-rich food. Did I mention that this soup freezes well? You can save a serving or two to have on hand when you are feeling drained or under the weather.

1 comment:

gpopp said...

I am so happy to see you post this freezer - friendly, crockpot recipe...my mom just called and told me she found me one of those 2 quart crockpots I have been wanting in a perfect color to match my new kitchen for my birthday this Sunday!!! Since mostly, I just cook for me, I will adjust down the portions for the white bean and kale soup and probably add collard greens instead of the kale as I prefer the taste--seems a bit sweeter to me, but you are so right about the tremendous energy boost the greens give you.

I also went back through some of your other posts and noticed that you posted LifeasMom's great idea for crockpot shredded chicken...seems too good to be true...I can hardly wait for my crockpot to arrive as I just spent HOURS making the shredded chicken for the chicken/egg salad spread for the tea sandwiches I am making for the birthday tea on Sunday.

Last but certainly not least, I couldn't help but notice you are a finalist on www.onceamonthmom.com 's freezer cooking day contest!!! Big CONGRATS and best of LUCK!!!

Keep those tips coming,
Gina