Hearty Kale and White Bean Soup – Healthy Cooking Thursday

Ilove kale.  I love it sauteed simply with garlic and olive oil, or with rice and mushrooms, or reincarnated as ridiculously easy-to-make and delicious kale chips.  Oh yeah, it's pretty nutritious, too!

One of my favorite uses for kale is to throw it in at the end of cooking nearly any soup.  This one, a favorite of my friend (and fellow blogger) Sherry Mayrent, is perfect for a chilly evening.

Hearty Kale and White Bean Soup – yields 8

Cook until soft:

5 ounces dried navy beans 
OR, open a 14 ounce can of navy or cannellini beans.
Rinse well.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine:
1 cup onion
1 cup carrot
1 cup celery
6 cloves garlic
Puree in the food processor for at least one full minute.

Heat a large soup pot on high. Add to the pot:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of nutmeg a pinch of cayenne
2 bay leaves
Stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add the vegetable puree and
3/4 tablespoon salt and stir for another 20 seconds.

1 1/2 quarts water and your beans

Cook over medium heat for about an hour. Add:
1 quart kale, sliced into thin ribbons (chiffonade)

Cook an additional half an hour.  Adjust seasonings (if you have fresh rosemary, it's a lovely addition), then enjoy!

This soup is part of a balanced meal when paired with a half a sandwich and a side salad.  And soups are wonderful fast food; unless thickened with a slurry or roux, most will freeze very well, which makes them perfect for busy women focused on healthy eating!

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