Warming Winter White Bean and Kale Soup
Adapted from a recipe in Greens, Glorious Greens. Serves 6-8
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or a combo of coconut and olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups cooked white beans
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into small chunks or rounds
- 3-4 medium carrots, chopped
- 4 to 5 cups chopped kale, or your favorite dark leafy green (collards, spinach, mustard greens, etc.)
- 8 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, water, or bean cooking liquid (see below)
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and saute for 7-10 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic, cumin and curry, and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the cooked beans, basil, squash, sweet potato, carrots, and broth or bean cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then let simmer for 20-30 minutes (until sweet potato and butternut squash are tender). Add salt and pepper, taste, adjust seasoning as necessary.
Stir in chopped kale or other dark leafy green, and let cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for a couple more minutes
Add lemon juice to taste before serving.
To Cook Beans
Soak 2 cups of beans overnight or for at least 6-8 hours in plenty of water to cover. Drain, add 5 cups of water and beans to a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till done. (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Add more water throughout cooking if necessary.
If you prefer to use canned white beans, Eden Organic sells pre-soaked and cooked beans in BPA-free cans. They are my brand of choice for canned beans when I don't have time to soak and cook my own beans.
Extra Healthy Tips
During the winter months we all need a little extra healthy fat to keep our bodies nourished and sated. I like to drizzle olive oil in soup before serving, or chop some avocado and add before serving or sprinkle some goat cheese and stir that in. Depending on the soup and desired flavors, these three healthy sources of fat can be great additions, and keep you feeling full and nourished, thus decreasing the likelihood of turning to sweets or carbs for satisfaction.
I ALWAYS add more greens than the recipe calls for. This original recipe called for 2 cups, and I usually put in twice or three times as much. I also like to add in freshly chopped or shredded greens each time I heat up leftover soup. Simple add your desired amount of soup to a small pot, reheat, and when it is almost ready, stir in a handful or more of your favorite dark leafy green. When I made the recipe recently I used collard greens the first time, and in subsequent reheats have added new greens each time (kale, spinach, etc.)
Enjoy, and stay warm!!