Potato & White Bean Soup with Kale

white bean potato soup

This is a hearty soup complete with a protein and starch, and it is also really comforting on a cold day.  Mushrooms add a little extra savory flavor, as does the nutritional yeast if you choose to use it.  It also adds nutritional benefits such as vitamin B12 (learn more).

Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 heaping cup of chopped mushrooms (i like shiitakes)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

6 cups good vegetable broth (recommended – Not Chick’n Broth bullion cubes)

1 can navy or great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 sprig rosemary

3 large kale leaves, thick stem removed and chopped (i prefer lacinato kale over the curly kale)

Method

Add enough olive oil to cover bottom of a stock pot and heat over medium low heat for a couple minutes.  Then add onion and mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt.  Saute 5 minutes or until softened.

Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes.

Stir in nutritional yeast to thoroughly mix.  Then add wine stirring and scraping bottom to get any bits on the pan (that’s all the good flavor).  Simmer about 5 minutes until reduced by half.

Add potatoes, broth, beans, and rosemary.  Increase to high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 20 minutes.

Remove rosemary sprig.  Transfer 1-2 cups of bean and potato mixture with a little of the broth to a blender.  Puree then add back to pot.

Stir in kale and simmer 5 minutes longer.  Transfer to bowls and serve with a yummy crusty baguette!

 

 

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Lemon Garlic Kale

Glorious green kale! Simply sauteed with just olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spritzed with lemon before serving.  One tip: don’t cook the hell out of it since we want to preserve some of those wonderful nutrients kale has to offer.  Just a few minutes until it lightly wilted is all it needs!

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Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 bunch of curly kale, large rib removed, torn into pieces

3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or chopped

Water

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of about half a lemon

Method

Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the a large skillet or sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute about 3 minutes.

Add kale and 2-3 tablespoons of water, cover and allow to steam just 2 minutes.  Remove lid and toss kale around to cook evenly.  If needed, return lid and let steam additional minute.

Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a dish and toss with lemon juice and also a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Spicy, Saucey Kale Chips

Kick off that 2013 diet with a new healthy snack, amazing kale chips!  I went through a time where I was obsessed to Brad’s Raw kale chips which turned out to be quite a pricey addiction at $8/package.  When I made these I just couldn’t believe how much they tasted like them!

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in salted water overnight (or at least 4 hours), water reserved

2 Tbsp chopped pimentos (or roasted red pepper)

1 tsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bunch kale, thick stems removed, torn into pieces

Method

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.  Place all the ingredients except kale in a blender or food processor and puree.  It should be a thick sauce (see pic below).  If needed, add some of of the reserved water from the cashews. How much liquid you need will depend on how long the cashews were soaked.  It will need more liquid if you only soaked them for a few hours.

Add kale to a large bowl, pour sauce over and toss to thoroughly coat the kale.  Spread kale in one single layer onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Or you can used aluminum foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 30-40 minutes until crisp.

 

Mushroom, Kale, Potato Tacos

I’ve probably said it a hundred times but I really love handheld foods.  If I can stuff it in a tortilla or bread, I will.  If you want to make this easier, skip the potato and use frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes.  That will save you the step of having to boil a potato.

Makes 4 tacos

Ingredients

1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (or 1 cup frozen shredded potatoes)

2 cups diced mushrooms

1/3 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1/5 block of drained and pressed extra-firm tofu (optional)

2 kale leaves, large rib removed, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Broth, cooking spray or oil for sauteing

4 corn tortillas

Method

Fill a small pot with cold water, add potato.  Bring to a boil and cook 7-8 minutes.

In a skillet add either a little broth or cooking spray/oil and heat over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and onion and pinch of salt, cook about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, nutritional yeast and if using tofu, crumble into the skillet. Stir and cook and when potato is done drain from water and add to mushroom tofu mixture along with kale. Stir and cook just a few minutes until kale is just wilted.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and serve in tortillas with desired toppings. My faves are avocado and salsa or hot sauce.

 

 

White Bean Barley Soup with Kale

Spring may be just around the corner but soup season isn’t over just yet.  I’ve made this simple, hearty soup with few ingredients that make for a very satisfying, healthy meal.  I especially love the barley in this because of the great texture it adds, not too mention it’s a whole grain with abundant health benefits.  Lower cholesterol, anyone?  It’s packed with fiber and phytonutrients like all our other little plant friends so yea, it’s good for us.  Let’s not forget kale, the super green I’ve added here.  I go with the lactino kale (also called dinasour kale for its bumpy texture) and cut it up in small pieces because who wants to eat a giant leaf in their soup.  No thanks.  Throw it in at the end, just long enough to let it wilt.  You don’t want to cook away all it’s precious disease-fighting nutrients.

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Serves 6

Ingredients

Olive oil or broth for sauteeing

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 cup diced carrots

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-32oz. container low-sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup pearled barley (of gluten-free grain)

1-15oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

2 cups chopped kale

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, pinch of salt and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in broth and barley, increase to heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer about 20 minutes or until barley is tender.

Two choices for the next step:

Option 1: Stir in beans, rosemary and kale and cook a few minutes long until kale is wilts.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Option 2 (for thicker consistency): Transfer half soup to a blender with half the beans.  Puree and then pour back into the pot.  Stir in rosemary and kale, cook a few minutes long until kale is wilts. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Ribollita – Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

32 ounces vegetable broth

1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes

2 cups chopped kale

1 (15-ounce) can canellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

2 cups cubed sourdough bread (preferably day old)

Method

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juice and mash slightly with potato masher or back of a spoon.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Stir in kale, beans, basil, and bread, cook additional 10 minutes and remove from heat.  Recommended to let it sit for a few hours before serving as this allow the soup to become even more flavorful.

Tip: If you’re planning on freezing, leave the bread out and just add it in when you plan to serve.  You can also leave the bread out all together and it’s still a delicious soup!