Monday, November 02, 2009

savory white bean soup

I tried a new recipe the other night that I've had tucked away in my recipe folder for about three years now. I've been wanting to try it, but just now got to it. My main reason for never making it was that I've never cooked greens of any sort, and this calls for mustard greens or kale. Well, it just so happens that a friend of mine gave me her portion of CSA produce this past week, and low and behold, I got a bag full of kale. Not knowing what to do with it, I remembered this recipe. I don't know why I was hesitant to cook greens...they are very easy and really tasty! It was so easy to wilt them, just like spinach...and spinach could probably even be substituted in this recipe.
Anyway, when I found this recipe in Real Simple, I thought it looked delicious and healthy, and I was very pleased with the results! My whole family liked it. The original recipe is titled "stewy white beans", but mine came out much more like an italian type soup. I will definitely make this recipe again in the future, because it is very nutritious, full of good flavor, and very easy to make, but I may try doubling the amount of white beans for added protein.
Here is the original recipe, and below is my adapted one. This soup is also great topped with parmesan cheese and served with focaccia bread.

savory white bean soup
adapted from "stewy white beans" recipe found in Real Simple Magazine

I N G R E D I E N T S :

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of a sweet onion, finely chopped (or two small shallots, finely grocery store was out)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound mustard greens or kale, stems removed and leaves sliced into 1-inch strips (I used a big bunch of Kale)
juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth
1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 or 2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained (I used 1 can this time and it was fine but I think I would like an extra can)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

D I R E C T I O N S :

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
Add the shallots and cook for 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and greens and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens begin to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the brown sugar, bay leaf, red pepper, broth, and tomatoes and their juices.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer gently until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Season with the salt, black pepper, and (if desired) the remaining lemon juice.

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