When I planned my menu for this week, I had no idea a huge, cold, rainy, windy storm was upon us. Wet leaves are whipping around my yard, I’m chilled to the bone. It is a perfect day for soup.
I noted in the title that this soup is vegetarian, because many of the recipes I found with kale included sausage. Take Mark Bittman’s Pasta With Black Kale, Shiitakes and Italian Sausage, for example. While I do cook with sausage every now and then, I was looking for something without meat for tonight — I was trying to avoid going to the butcher for another week!
This soup turns out rich and creamy thanks to the navy beans being blended into the soup. It has a fresh but hearty flavor, and if you’re not a huge greens fan this is a good way to eat them since their flavor is not overbearing. Substituting sweet potato or squash for the navy beans would also be a delicious variation.
I use Spike seasoning because I have it in the house, but any spice blend that you enjoy (Mrs. Dash, herbes de Provence, etc.) will work fine. I served Alexia Ciabatta rolls with the soup, which were delicious. Just pop them in the oven for 10 minutes straight from the freezer, and you have freshly-baked rolls ready for dinner.
Vegetarian White Bean & Kale Soup
Adapted from Bean Soup With Kale
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 tsp. crushed garlic (or 6 cloves, minced)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 c. fresh Toscano kale, rough-chopped (about 8 large leaves, stems removed)
4 c. vegetable broth
2 15-oz. cans navy beans, undrained
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp. Salt-Free Spike seasoning (or any general spice mix you like)
1/2 tsp. salt (adjust based on your spice mix)
ground black pepper (I used about 15 grinds)
Parmesan cheese (optional, to sprinkle on top)
Heat oil in a large soup pot, and cook onions, garlic, and carrots over a medium-low heat until they are caramelized (about 10 minutes). Add remaining ingredients, stir well, cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer the soup, covered, for 20 minutes. Using an immersion (stick) blender, blend soup until almost smooth. BE CAREFUL not to splash hot soup on yourself! Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Adjust seasonings and serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.