I’d like to start this post by giving a shout out to all my freaky friends that can’t eat gluten, dairy, meat, etc. This soup is for you. After hanging out with some of yall this weekend and talking about your various food allergies I decided to make something that you all could eat too. It’s dairy and gluten free and if I had had vegetable stock on my hands then it would have been completely vegan. You can easily substitute veggie stock though, I only used turkey stock cause its all I’ve got. But yeah after discussing your various health issues I realized how prevalent wheat and dairy are in my cooking. Practically everything has butter, flour, and/or milk in it. So sorry guys. To redeem myself I decided to make one of my favorite soups. Bean soups in general are awesome, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Its just so comforting and delicious. The broth and beans break down and become soft and creamy while the kale retains some crunch. The flavor is simple but hearty. Also it SO easy to make and pretty cheap. Who knew that something without wheat and dairy could be so delicious??
This is a really really simple soup. I mean most soups are, but this one seemed particularly easy. You start off with a ‘mirepoix’ which is basically just diced onions, celery, and carrots. The French have been using it for years and since everyone seems to abide by French cooking rules and terms we’ll jump on the bandwagon too and make it sound waaay fancier than it is. This flavor base is used for a multitude of stocks, soups, and sauces and believe me, it’s called the holy trinity for a reason. Just the smell of a sautéing mirepoix is enough to draw up visions of soups, sauces, and other delicious tasty bits.
After your mirepoix is all delicious and sautéed (i.e. soft and translucent) its time to rinse off your beans and add them in. Give them a good stir then add in your stock and seasoning.
Once you’ve got your stock, beans, and herbs all up in there is just a matter of waiting. Turn up the heat for a hot second and let it come to a steady boil, then drop it to low-medium and leave it at a hearty simmer for about an hour. Check on it every now and then and make sure its not boiling too much, don’t want your beans to turn to mush. While its cookin you can take that hour to read, go for a run, or watch Jamie Oliver’s America which is an AMAZING show. I love Jamie Oliver so much. Currently he’s hanging out in America eating our food and talking about how much he loves us. Well Jamie, we love you back. Or at least I do. SO much. I want to drop out and go foraging with him for mushrooms and cook squash and veggies from his incredible garden every day. Someday I will hopefully have a huge garden/farm too and I’ll be able to cook with ingredients purely from my garden! Yay! Anyways, now that you’ve spent your hour imaging yourself flitting around on your pastoral dream farm or whatever it was you were doing with yourself while your soup cooked, it’s time to grab your kale! Wash it, remove the center ribs, tear it into bite sized pieces and add it to your soup. At first it will look like kale has taken over your soup BUT it will cook down. Promise.
Stir your kale into the soup until its wilted down a bit, just a couple stirs to get it mixed in there. Cover it up with your lid and let it cook for about ten minutes so the kale can cook down more. Check it often though, you want your kale to wilt but still be a bit crunchy. Also make sure to taste the rest of the soup and make sure it has enough seasoning/isn’t too thick. You can serve it with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese but I just ate it straight and it was UNREAL. The beans had cooked down and thickened the soup. The kale still had some bite. I think I’ll experiment with this more at a later date. Maybe put in less broth, add some tomatoes, and maybe a little sweet potato then try it over rice? Sound good? I’m excited about it.
White Bean and Kale Soup
- 2 15oz cans of white navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tblsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 bunches kale, about three cups
- 4 cups stock, I used turkey but you could use veggie if you want to make it vegan
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning (optional) or maybe use chili powder just to give it a little kick
Rise your beans and set them aside. In a large stock pot warm olive oil. Once oil is warm add in onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté till soft and translucent. Add rinsed beans, stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning. Turn heat up and bring to a soft boil. Cover and turn down to low-medium and keep at a gentle simmer for about an hour. To prepare kale, rinse, remove leaves, discard middle rib/stem section, tear into bite sized pieces and add to soup. Stir kale into broth and cover pot. Let sit for about ten minutes/till kale is wilted but still crunchy. Serve either with shaved parmesan cheese or some freshly ground pepper.