Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup

This hearty, winter bean soup is the perfect Italian comfort food on a cold February night. You can make it vegetarian or with some Italian sausage. Either get ground sausage and cook it up in a skillet with some oil and add to the soup for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Or you can slice sausage (remove the casings first) and cook it in a pan with a bit of oil and add to the soup for the last 10 minutes it’s simmering.  Mmmm….enjoy a little slice of easy, satisfying and warming comfort food.

Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup

Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup

Yields: 8 cups of soup

Serves: 4 heartily

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or sunflower oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch curly leaf or lacinato kale
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini or white navy beans (canned or cooked from dry beans)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1  (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes or 3-4 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano and/or dried basil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese (optional for serving)

 

Directions:

Slice the onions thinly. Heat a large saucepan or stockpot (with lid) over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent. You can saute longer if you want the onion to be sweeter. Mince the garlic and add to the onion.

Cook for 30 seconds and then add cooked (drained) beans, vegetable or chicken broth, tomatoes (crush them in bowl first if using fresh tomatoes), dried herbs, salt and red pepper flakes if using. Season with black pepper. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt and you can always add more later if needed.

Bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove the stems from the kale and then tear the kale into 2 inch pieces. Add kale pieces to the soup for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings as needed. Remove from heat and add heavy cream. Juice the lemon and add ½ the juice of the lemon to the soup. Taste and add more lemon if needed. Serve hot. It’s great with crusty bread for dipping! You can even drizzle the soup with a little olive oil and top with parmesan or more red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

To make this a meat dish, you can add cooked Italian sausage to this dish near the end, about 5-10 minutes before the end of the simmering time. You can also substitute 1 inch cubes of potato for the beans if you prefer to make it a potato soup. This soup doesn’t freeze well, so you can enjoy it for the next 5 days when kept in your refrigerator.

Roasted Carrot, Turmeric & Ginger Soup

Yields: 16 cups

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 small/medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric root
  • 2-3 inches fresh ginger root
  • 10 carrots
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (low-sodium)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (adjust to your taste)
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
  • ½ medium lemon or lime
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
    Optional Toppings:
  • Roasted Squash seeds
  • Cilantro
  • Aleppo pepper
  • Plain Greek yogurt

 

Directions:

Roast Carrots:

Heat oven to 400°F. Place whole carrots on baking sheet. Coat lightly with olive oil and salt. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Once cooled, cut off the ends and cut carrots into 2 inch pieces.

Soup:

Heat a large saucepan to medium heat. Dice the onion. Add oil to heat up before adding onion. Stir occasionally until transparent. Mince the garlic and add to onion. Saute for 1 minute. Peel the ginger and turmeric root with a spoon. Mince with a knife, or grate them with a micro plane and set aside. Slice the lime in half. Juice the lime and set aside.

Add the turmeric and ginger to pan with onion and garlic. Allow to cook for 1 minute.

Add the chopped, roasted carrots, broth and salt. Raise the heat to bring to a slow boil. Then lower heat to simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes.

Add the coconut milk or cream. Blend with an immersion blender to blend all onion, carrot and liquid together. If soup is too thick, add more broth or water a little at a time until desired consistency. Add the lime and then adjust seasonings to taste. Top with your choice of toppings listed above.

 

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

This soup freezes really well and tastes great as leftovers for up to 5 days in the fridge.

If freezing, place in mason jar with 1 inch of empty space left at the top and the lid slightly off. Once frozen you can tighten the lid well to prevent freezer burn. Label with kind of soup and the date. Best used within 3 months.

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