White Bean and Kale Soup

white-bean-soup

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
 
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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!

white-bean-soup-in-spoon

Zucchini and Mushroom Saute over Couscous

I came home from work, picked up the kids, and took said kids to swim lessons – with a dinner plan in mind. The plan was to dine one a yummy salad, some grilled chicken, and some sushi rice. It was a Monday. Things can never go as planned. I opened the fridge and saw that the chicken was still frozen, popsicle frozen. It was already 7pm. I had about five minutes before my six-year-old would self-combust with screams of “I’m Hungry!” I had to do something. I offered tuna or salmon salad. She would have none of it. I found some baby hot dogs. I grilled them up with some onions and served them to her with some ketchup, sliced cucumbers and tomato, and some baby dill pickles.
Now what was I going to eat? Eyeing the fridge and the pantry, I came up with a concoction that was tasty and met the task at hand.

Monday Rushed Dinner – Served over some whole wheat couscous

3 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ large zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
5 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 Veggie Italian Sausage by Lightlife, diced
½ cup of cooked or canned cannellini beans
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup of vegetable broth
Chopped Fresh Basil
Chopped Fresh Thyme
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

 

Sautee the shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add in the Zuchini and squash. Add the “sausage.” Add the rest of ingredients. Cook it on medium heat for 15 minutes. It mushes up a bit. The broth gives it some sauciness.
I served it over couscous, but it would be just as good over rice or pasta even. Enjoy! Have a good week!

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