Kale, Potato and White Bean Soup

Last night I had a dream that I looked out the window to see the trees blooming with a million pink buds. Then I woke up and all the branches were still bare and surrounded by piles of gray snow.

I’m pretty sure I’m making it up but I feel an almost imperceivable shift toward spring. It’s coming, oh please oh please let it be coming.

I was telling my sister yesterday that I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen lately. This is likely because I’m sick of winter vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweet potatoes and carrots and parsnips but what I’d really like to eat are some lovely green asparagus stalks that don’t cost $5.99 a bunch! Or some sweet, red tomatoes that haven’t been imported from Brazil.

Guess we’ll have to make do with what we have right now. And what we have are white beans and kale! The pairing of white beans and kale seems almost as natural as peanut butter and jelly.

Actually it doesn’t at all but it does sound good together. So we’ll make another soup with hopes that it’s one of the last of the season and that soon we’ll be turning our attention to fresh salads and fruit.

Until then…

kale and white bean soup

Kale, Potato and White Bean End of Winter Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, sliced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup of loosely packed basil, cut into ribbons (optional)

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2-1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

8 cups of water and two no salt bouillon cubes (or 8 cups of no salt veggie stock)

6 red potatoes, diced

2 cans of white beans with juices (I used a combo of great northern and white kidney beans)

3 cups chopped kale (I used curly but lacinato would work well here too)


White Bean and Kale Soup Ingredients

Slice onion, carrot, celery and potatoes.

vegetable assembly line

Heat olive oil and saute onion, carrot and celery until lightly soft. Add garlic and basil. Saute for another minute.

sauteed veggies

Add thyme, salt, cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Mix with veggies.

Next add water and bouillon cubes. I always use no salt bouillon cubes but it’s especially important here because I’m not draining the beans and the juice of the beans adds extra salt.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

Add beans and potatoes cook for 25 minutes.

Lastly, add kale. Cook until wilted.

Adjust salt to taste and remove bay leaf before serving.

I turned the burner off and left the soup covered on the stove while I taught my noon class and went to the gym. When I ate it a couple of hours later it reminded me very much of the soups my dad used to make, which made it taste that much better.

kale and white bean soup kale and white bean soup

If we have to eat more soup, might as well be good soup right?

Enjoy and Exhale!

New York City Bound

Happy weekend.  I’m on my way down to New York to see my sister. She had a long weekend off from the hospital and Michael will be at work prepping for a big meeting all weekend so it seemed like the perfect time to get away.

One of the things I was most excited about when we decided to move to Boston was being so much closer to my sister. It’s only a 3.5 hour train ride from Boston to NYC and there’s no waiting in a security line or checking baggage or any of the other headaches that come with air travel. Plus, free wifi, albeit super slow so we’ll see if I can even publish this post.

We have lots of fun on tap for the weekend.  Hitting up some yummy veggie restaurants, brunch with my sister’s best friend and mom, watching football, possibly some apartment hunting for Sarah and a yoga photo shoot for me.

I’ll recap everything on the train home on Tuesday but until then I’ll leave you with a recipe for a parsnip potato mash.

With Michael’s hours so crazy I’ve been making foods that will stay in the fridge for many hours between the time that I eat dinner around 8 and when he eats at 11 or 12, sometimes 1! Mashed potatoes are one of his favorites but I often can’t leave well enough alone. I bought some parsnips at the store earlier this week and thought I’d marry the two.

Garlic Parsnip Potato Mash:

If you’re not familiar with parsnips they are a root vegetable.  They taste sort of like a cross between carrots and celery and tend to be fairly sweet. I like the combination of their flavor with the creaminess of potatoes.

10-12 red potatoes (I’m sure yellow potatoes would work here as well)

4 parsnips

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup unflavored almond milk (or whichever milk you prefer)

2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or regular butter if you prefer)

1/2 tablespoon salt

Wash and chop parsnips and potatoes so they are roughly the same size. Place in a pot and bring to boil.  Boil until tender. 25 minutes or so.

Drain veggies.

In a pot, over low heat, saute garlic in olive oil.  Watch the garlic really closely, it will burn quickly. A minute should be enough to get it golden brown.

Add parsnips and potatoes into the pot with the garlic.  Add milk, butter and salt.  Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.  I’m a fan of lumpy mashed potatoes personally.