Creamy White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

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I had a huge amount of swiss chard in my kitchen. I was going to turn it into a stir fry, but the wintery weather got the better of me. I decided to come up with a soup recipe that would work with what I had on hand.

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My daughter loves spinach in her soup. I had a hunch that the swiss chard would be a good stand-in. So I got to work.

I sauteed some onions and garlic in some olive oil and added in some rosemary and two cans of cannellini beans.

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I then added some vegetable broth to the mixture and let it come to a boil. I let the soup simmer on the stove on low for about an hour.

While the bean soup cooked, I worked on the swiss chard. I chopped up some washed swiss chard. Then, I sauteed some shallots and garlic with some salt and pepper. I used lots of garlic. I added the chopped swiss chard to the pan and let that cook for a few minutes. Swiss chard takes about 5 minutes or so to be cooked. Once it was softened, I set it aside for when the soup was done.

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Once the beans were cooked through, I took out my immersion blender and pureed the soup mixture. I made sure to puree everything, giving it a velvety and creamy texture. Once that was done, I added the swiss chard to the pot.

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This soup took about an hour from start to finish. Woot woot! And my daughter approved. She’s my toughest critic!



 

Creamy White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
For the Swiss Chard:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 big bunch of swiss chard, stems trimmed off, washed and chopped (about 4-5 overflowing cups)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • additional salt and pepper as needed

Instructions
  1. Start by heating up the olive oil in a medium size soup pot.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic, drained beans, salt, pepper and rosemary and saute another 5-7 minutes.
  3. You want the garlic and onions to soften a bit and get fragrant.
  4. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and let the mixture simmer.
  6. While the beans cook, work on the swiss chard.
  7. In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil.
  8. Add in the shallots and the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add in the chopped swiss chard, the salt and pepper and stir a bit and let it soften – stirring a every couple of minutes.
  10. The swiss chard process should take about 5-7 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and set the swiss chard to the side.
  12. Let the bean soup mixture cook for a total of about an hour. The beans should be pretty soft.
  13. Using your immersion blender, puree the soup completely. The beans will give the soup a very creamy and velvety texture.
  14. Once the soup is pureed, stir in the cooked swiss chard.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

white-bean-soup

White Bean and Kale Soup

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My daughter came home from a friend’s house and excitedly told me all about the Olive Garden soup she had just eaten for dinner. I don’t think I’ve been to Olive Garden since I was about ten-years-old. I definitely didn’t remember any soup. The friend’s family knows that we don’t eat at Olive Garden and they understand that Gila is a vegetarian. After a moment of panic, I composed myself and asked her to tell me more. She happily told me about this amazing soup filled with spinach, potatoes and delicious broth. For days after, she asked me if I had made my version of the soup yet. I had just finished a marathon soup cooking session. My freezer was already bursting with various soups. I wasn’t ready to make another soup.

As they often do, circumstances change. In the middle of the work day, I quickly texted my husband and asked him what he thought I should prepare for dinner. With a groan, he told me all about his two root canals from earlier that morning and then fast forwarded to the part where he told me that all his jaw could handle was some warm soup. He told me not to worry. He assured me that he would just venture out to a local take-out place and buy something. I couldn’t let that happen. I decided that this was the night to make the soup of Gila’s dreams.

I had some kale in the fridge that needed to be used up.  I decided that it would be perfect in place of the spinach. I also had a ziploc bag of already cooked white beans in the freezer. I set off to make my version of this Olive Garden Soup. Amazingly, I was successful. Gila went to bed with a full and happy belly and Jason happily had three bowls of soup. This hearty soup is a winner and will definitely be made again!

White Bean and Kale Soup
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, cut up
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and sliced (I used purple, but you can use your preference)
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cans of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • Additional salt and pepper as needed
  • Soup noodles (alphabet or any variety will do) optional

Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large soup pot
  2. Add in the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook a few minutes to soften.
  3. Stir in the salt and pepper
  4. Add in the kale and the potatoes and the kale and cook a couple of minutes
  5. Add white beans, tomatoes, broth and the water – along with the spices
  6. Bring the soup to a boil
  7. Turn the heat down and let simmer while covered for at least an hour.
  8. If you’d like some noodles in your soup, add them about 15 minutes before serving.
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

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Grain Free Collard Green Burritos

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I’ve been trying to make some changes in regards to what I eat this summer. As more and more amazing fruits and vegetables are available and super fresh, I am trying to consume fewer processed foods. While I do that, I am also trying to cut back on some processed grains, easing up on my intake of wheat and rice products. I feel better, have more energy and feel good about what I am eating. No worries, I still indulge a bit. Just making sure that what I put in my body is quality.

A recent vegetable share included these massive collard greens. I’ve never cooked with collard greens before. Many of the recipes I saw online and heard about from friends was all about simple sautes. I knew that I wanted to do something different with these wonderful greens, but wasn’t quite sure what.

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As I glanced at these ginormous leaves, I thought about using it as a wrap of sorts. Why not use it in place of a tortilla.

I quickly gathered up a few veggies, along with a can of black beans, and sautéed them up in a pan along with some spices.

While the veggies were sautéing, I washed, trimmed and steamed the collard green leaves.

I let the leaves cool for a couple minutes and then I laid them on a cutting board, added some of the bean mixture, and wrapped the leaves up like a burritos.

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It worked out perfectly. Will definitely be making these again.

 

Grain Free Collard Green Burritos
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • Collard Green Leaves (1 per burrito)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
  1. Wash and trim the stems off of the collard green leaves.
  2. Bring some salted water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the washed and trimmed leaves to the pot. Steam the leaves for just a few minutes.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook another 5-7 minutes. The veggies should be soft.
  6. Lay a collard green leaf on a flat surface.
  7. Place around three tablespoons of filling in the center of a leaf.
  8. Wrap the collard green around the filling, like a burrito. Folding the sides in first and then rolling up.
  9. Serve with a salad.
  10. Enjoy!

Grain Free Collard Green Burritos

VeganMoFo: Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

Avocados were on sale at my local store for something like 2/$1. When they get that cheap, I get really excited. So excited – I buy too much. It happens. I’m not complaining. It could have been worse.

So this quick dinner, like most dinners, was brought on by necessity. But it’s amazing what necessity delivered! This dinner worked out perfectly. I wish I had thought of this meal before!
Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
Ingredients:
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
tortillas
1-2 avocados
1/2 lime
Daiya Cheese (optional)
Directions:
Heat oil in medium saute pan.
Add the onions to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high. Add in the garlic cloves and the spices. Cook a couple of more minutes. Add in the drained black beans. Cook for several minutes. Add the extra water if the mixture seems a bit dry. After about 7 minutes, mash some of the beans.  Remove from heat.
Cube up your avocado and sprinkle with lime juice and a tiny bit of salt.
Take a tortilla and spread some of the bean mixture over one half. Layer on top some of the cubed avocado and the optional cheese.  Fold tortilla over.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a second pan.
Place folded and stuffed tortilla in pan. Cook for a couple minutes on each side.
Repeat with rest of mixture and tortillas.
Enjoy!
Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
veganmofo

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Wet Burritos

I get so much of my food inspiration from social media these days. Everyone’s lunch or dinner gets posted to Facebook  twitter or Pinterest at any given moment. The photos are what get me motivated to cook and create new concoctions in my kitchen.

I have a growing list of friends from Michigan – either having grown up there or went to college there. At any given moment, a photo shows up in my Facebook feed of something that resembles an enchilada, but is really something so much more. It’s the Wet Burrito. It’s purely a Michigan concept. I can’t decide if it’s an upgraded or downgraded burrito. It’s not authentic anything, or perhaps it’s authentic Michigander food. Whatever it is, the spiced red gravy that tops the burrito is pure brilliance on a plate. And it’s easy to make.


Vegetarian Wet Burritos
Ingredients:
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small zucchinni, chopped
1/2 package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can of black beans, drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
Cheddar/Monterrey Jack Cheese Blend
4 large flour tortillas
Wet Burrito Sauce:
Ingredients:
1 can of Ro-Tel or chopped tomatoes with jalapenos
1/2 cup of plain tomato sauce
1.5 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (Use a fish-free version)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Heat up the oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onions for a couple of minutes. Stir in the spices and the chopped garlic.
Add in the zucchini and the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
Add in the black beans to one side of the pan and let them heat up. Mash up the beans a bit and stir in the vegetable broth.
Remove the pan from the flame and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, mix up all of the sauce ingredients. Heat on medium low for a few minutes. Puree with a stick blender.
Assemble the burritos.
Layer some rice then bean/veggie mixture then some cheese on top of a tortillas. Fold up in to a burrito. Set seam side down in a baking dish.
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Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Wet Burritos
Spoon the burrito sauce over the burritos.
Sprinkle over some cheese.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. If you have extra sauce, you can spoon more over the burrito as you serve.
www.confident-cook.com
Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a free box of Tribes-a-Dozen Voila! Hallah! Enter here!

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Tamales

Every morning, as I walk to the subway, I walk by this little old woman selling fresh tamales from a big pot on a cart. It’s a very small set-up, most likely illegal. She is there every morning though, rain or shine. I am sure they taste amazing, and I always wish I could sample her goods.

I have been toying with making my own tamales for a while. I bought some dried corn husks a while back. Had been debating the filling for while. Finally came up with a plan. Very happy with the results and I will definitely make again. Tamales can be frozen and reheated in the microwave or steamer.

Vegetarian Tamales
Ingredients

Dried Corn Husks

Filling:
1 tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large zucchini, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 small can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
1/2 package of mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
chopped cilantro
1/2 cup broth
1 cup shredded cheese

Masa Tamale Dough:
2 cups masa harina
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick of Earth Balance shortening

Start by checking the corn husks. Check for bugs. My package didn’t have any, but these still should be checked. There was corn debris. Just what looks like dried strands of the corn silk. Brush off any shmutz on the corn husks. Soak them in a large bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes.

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While the husks are soaking, you can prepare the rest of the components.

In  a large pan, saute the onion and the garlic in the oil. Add in the spices.

Mix in the zucchini and the mushrooms. Saute for around 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the chipotle pepper and the black beans.  Add the vegetable broth if the filling starts to look too dry. Turn off the heat and mix in the cheese. Set aside.

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Now it’s time to prepare the the masa dough. Measure out the masa, the spices and the baking powder in to the bowl of a mixer. With the mixer going on low, pour in the vegetable broth.  Mix to form in to crumbly paste.  Add in the shortening. Mix for a minute or so. Everything should be incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

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Now it’s time to assemble.

Set yourself up with everything nearby.

Set up your steamer station. I didn’t have a steamer that fit my dairy stock pot for this, so I used a metal colander. Place water at the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Turn it to medium.

Make strips out of a few of your corn husks. These will be your tamale ties.

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Lay out a corn husk and spread some masa dough down the center.

Place about a tablespoon or two of your filling in the center of your dough.

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Roll up the corn husk like a burrito: Fold the bottom side up, and the sides in. Then tie it up.

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Place upright in your steamer set-up.

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Steam on medium/medium-high for around 90 minutes. Check your water levels throughout.

When done, the masa dough will be firm.

Remove tamales from steamer.  They will be extremely hot. Be careful when opening.

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Serve with some salsa and sour cream. Or eat it just straight out of the package. These are great as a meal or a snack even! Enjoy!

Veggie Chili with Soyrizo

It was a veggie chili kind of day today.  Been pouring on and off all day. I’ve been wanting to make a big pot of chili for a while now. It finally happened today. Woke up to some crazy rain this morning. 

The ingredients can usually be found in my pantry. No reason not to hold off any longer. Chili is also a cheap and easy meal that goes a long way. Throw in some brown rice, cheddar cheese, and sour cream – and everyone’s happy.

Veggie Chili with Soyrizo

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 package of soyrizo (trader joe’s or friedas brand)
1 red onion, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 medium baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1.5 cups assorted chopped peppers
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
4 cans of beans – kidney and black bean combo
28 oz. of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
salt, to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil.  Crumble up the soy chorizo and add it to the pot. Cook on medium-high for a few minutes. 

Add in all the chopped veggies and cook for around 5-10 minutes on medium high. Let all the veggies soften.

Add in the beans and the spices and stir a bit.  Add in the tomatoes. Add in the balsamic. Let the mixture come to a boil.  Cover the pot and let everything cook and simmer for about an hour. Add salt to taste.

Serve over brown rice with whatever toppings you desire. We enjoyed our chili over some brown rice tonight with some salad on the side.

Enjoy!

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Soy Chorizo and Bean Saute

While wandering a grocery store a couple months ago, I was delighted to come across some soy chorizo. I am always seeing some interesting recipes that call for the real thing, so I was intrigued and bought a package. Having never tried the real thing, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I do know that it is supposed to be a crumbled, oily, and spicy sausage treat. I dove in and decided to test the waters. I didn’t use a recipe, I just worked with what I had in the pantry. It came out excellent. It was one of those dishes that I actually fight with my husband over the leftovers to take to work the next day. I almost always let him take the leftovers. So you know it’s good.

Soy Chorizo Saute
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
Soy Chorizo or the real stuff
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes (I like the kind that has added flavor, jalapenos or otherwise)
salt
pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup veggie broth

In a large cast iron pan or skillet, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for 7 minutes.

Remove the chorizo from the casing and crumble into the pan. Cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes.

Add in the white beans and tomatoes. Stir into the chorizo mixture.

Add in the spices. Stir and cook for a few minutes.

Stir in the veggie broth. Let the dish simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve over steamed rice. Yum! I will not say, “Yum-O,” because that would be lame. It is good though, and it is a super easy meal for a crazy weeknight.

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