Beans and soup were made for each other. Beans love being cooked low and slow and absorb all the great flavors in the soup broth. Soaking the beans for several hours give them a head start on the cooking process so when you are actually ready, soup will be on the table in an hour rather than in three hours. This light and healthy soup will make you feel healthy and nourished and is a great transition into fall.
White Bean and Kale Soup
1/2 lb. dried white Northern beans
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
6 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 small bunch of tuscan kale, roughly chopped
1 can (14.5 ounce) chopped tomatoes, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
Step 1: Soak the beans in cold water for 12 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the the onions, garlic, carrots, and ginger. Cook the vegetables until softened and onions appear translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the the jalapeno and turmeric powder and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Add the beans and vegetable stock. Cook the soup for 45 to 60 minutes or until beans have softened. They should be tender and not mushy. Add the chopped kale and tomatoes and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes until the kale has wilted. Tate the soup and adjust seasoning.
Step 4: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with grated parmesan cheese.
*Note: While this version is vegetarian, I like to cook this soup with a ham hock or bacon. Also, if you are looking to make the soup even heartier add pasta to the pot. Tortellini, gnocchi or short grain pasta are the best options.