We have definitely been on a kale kick around here lately with pan-fried kale yesterday and kale soup today. The white bean and kale soup is a recipe that is easy to make and has a really good taste. There are usually plenty of left-overs for lunch the next day. Enjoy!
Put the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the beans (I didn’t drain them) along with the stock, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup simmers steadily, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the thick stems and ribs from the kale and discard them; roughly chop the leaves. Stir the kale and soy sauce into the soup, cover, and cook until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several days.
White Bean and Kale Soup
- 3 cans of northern white beans, undrained
- 1 can of black-eyed or purple hull peas
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and black pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs (I used dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ pounds kale
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ cup roughly chopped basil leaves (I used 2 teaspoons of dried)
- Put the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- When it’s hot, add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add the beans along with the stock, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Stir, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Adjust the heat so the soup simmers steadily, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the thick stems and ribs from the kale and discard them; roughly chop the leaves.
- Stir the kale and soy sauce into the soup, cover, and cook until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf.
- Stir in the basil or add earlier if using dried.
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Growing up, my mom cooked pinto beans all the time. She would sort through the beans and pull out the ones that looked bad and any small rocks that she found. She would soak them for a few hours and then cook them with a some type of pork fat. Eating pinto beans and cornbread for dinner was a common occurrence at my house.
Recently, I saw something on Pinterest about cooking dried beans in the crock-pot. In my effort to eat healthier in 2014, I was interested in learning about this method. When I cook dried beans on the stove-top, the consistency is not right and they seem mushy. The other night I tried the crock-pot method and loved the way the beans turned out. I will freeze the beans to be used later for recipes.
The following works for any kinds of beans:
1. Sort beans and pull out any that look funny or are broken. Many types of beans have small rocks so pull those out.
2. Soak beans for at least six hours. I put the beans in water after lunch and soaked them until bed-time.
3. Pour beans in colander, pouring out soaking water, and rinse with cool tap water.
4. Put beans in pan on stove and cover with water and boil for at least 10 minutes to remove toxins. See link about why boiling is necessary.
5. Put beans in crock-pot with water, add more if necessary to cover by at least one inch. Cook on low overnight
6. Allow the beans to cool and add salt before freezing (optional). I add 1 teaspoon.
7. Freeze beans in serving size portions. I freeze in two cup portions because that is about the amount of 1 can.
This method is cheaper and definitely easier than stove-top cooking!
Have you tried cooking with lentils before? Lentils are part of the legume family and grow in pods. Lentils are high in fiber and protein and low in fat, so they are a good meat substitute. Lentils are packed with iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
Many years ago, I found the recipe for lentil rice casserole in The Tightwad Gazette and it is still a family favorite! When I make this casserole, I always double it to have leftovers. Throw in a salad or vegetable side-dish and you have a complete meal! The herbs and onions used in this casserole make your kitchen smell divine! Always be sure and rinse lentils thoroughly before cooking!
In a large bowl put 3/4 cup of rinsed lentils and 1/2 cup brown rice.
Next add 3/4 cup chopped onions, 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
Add 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken) and stir to mix. Place the ingredients in a 9 X 13 casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in a pre-heated 300 degree oven and cook for 90 minutes!
3 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Stir ingredients and place in a 9 X 13 casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. Recipe can be doubled easily.