White Bean + Kale Soup
Why we love it:
- 4 cups Assorted Vegetables (scraps - onion peels, broccoli stems, corn cob, carrot and celery trimmings, mushroom tops, etc.)
- 8 cups Water (give or take... see instructions)
- 3 Carrots
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 2 ribs Celery
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 4 Roma Tomatos
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 bunch Green Kale (or other dark leafy green)
- 1 Baguette
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder (optional)
- 2 15-ounce cans White Beans
- 1⁄2 Lemon (zest and juice)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Nutmeg (freshly grated)
1. HOMEMADE STOCK
In a large pot, place the veggie scraps. (I love to use some combo of: onion, carrot trimmings, mushroom stems, corn cobs in summer, tomato tops, celery leaves or ends, broccoli stems, herb stems - or anything you should have eaten a few days ago. AVOID: peppers, asparagus, potatoes). Cover with at least 1 inch of water. Turn on the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, you can turn it down to maintain a few bubbles here and there, a steady simmer. Cook for about 35 - 45 minutes or until its dark golden and tastes good.
*If you have an instant pot, this is a great time to pull it out. Add the veggies and water to it. If you have any herbs (like parsley, oregano or thyme) you can add some of them, too. Turn on high pressure for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the carrot, onion and celery, and mince the garlic. Dice the tomatoes.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the diced veggies and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.
Wash the kale and chop into 1” squares. I usually leave the stems attached and slice through them, then cut perpendicular to the center to form squares. Set aside in a bowl for now.
If your bread is really fresh and soft, perhaps you just slice it and serve it as is. If not, slice into rounds, drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
5. STOCK PART 2
When the stock is ready, set up a large pot or bowl in the sink and place a colander in it. Very carefully, drain the stock through the colander catching the broth below and the scraps in the colander. Lift it out slowly to allow for drainage.
Pour the stock into the soup pot (you may decide to use it all or reserve a few cups for another purpose - it’s up to you). Return soup to a simmer, then add the kale.
Open the beans and add them to the soup. I usually add the liquid too, but be cautious if you don’t have low-sodium beans. You can drain the beans if you prefer.
7. SEASON SOUP
Taste the soup and perhaps you’ll need another pinch of salt and pepper. Add the zest and juice of ½ of the lemon and the nutmeg.
Serve soup in large bowls with bread on the edges for dunking.