It’s cold out. I need soup. Preferably something not laden with heavy cream and tons of cheese. So I thought I’d whip this up. I make this kale soup once or twice every winter. And every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s quite yummy.
I’m over winter. I’m over the cold. We haven’t even had that much snow but since the holidays are over, winter should be over too. I much prefer the heat of summer. Living in Florida for years taught me the beauty of a nice hot day. I would much rather be laying in the sun sweating then freezing under a blanket in the house.
However, if I have to be freezing in the house I would much rather do it with a bowl of hot soup. And a warm pair of socks. Oh. . and one of those quilted bags full of corn that my aunt makes that you microwave and then can put the warm corny goodness on your freezing toes. Corn bags are necessary all winter as is the heated mattress pad. I have a lot of necessary things in my winter life, come to think of it.
I don’t really like actual meat based sausage. Not because I am a vegetarian, although I don’t eat a lot of meat. I just don’t like the texture of real sausage. I’ll eat it, but it’s not my favorite. (Although there are exceptions to all of my food rules!)
I do really like the vegetarian sausage substitute, especially the one by Morning Star Farms. That is what I use in this soup since I usually have it in my freezer. If you don’t have it or don’t like it you could use real sausage. It’s actually just as good without any type of sausage if you want to skip it all together.
(I also like Morning Star Farms faux bacon. But that takes some getting used to. Tim thinks it’s scary. And it really does look like cartoon bacon or some sort of toy bacon. You definitely can’t really cook it in things cause it gets mushy, but if you’re looking for a smoky bacon-esque crunch beside a fried egg and piece of toast without so much fat, it will get you there.)
You can also throw in a rind of parmesan cheese for extra flavor. When I use up a block of parmesan cheese I put the rind in the freezer. Later when I am making soup I throw in the rind to lend extra flavor while the soup simmers. It will impart a salty, nutty goodness and then you can discard the rind before serving. I would have used one for this recipe but I didn’t have one in the freezer at the time.
Instead I just grated a little parmesan cheese on top before I served it. Also, optional. This recipe is just very, very customizable. I use up what I have on hand. . random veggies. . use a different kind of bean (garbanzo are good, too), add or subtract the sausage, etc.
Serve with a good piece of crusty bread and you can maybe forget the cold temps for a few minutes. Just a few minutes though.
Kale, White Bean and Veggie Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2-6 minced cloves of garlic
1 cup assorted diced veggies (I used up some left over crudities that included carrot, celery, cauliflower & brocoli, but you can use whatever you have or leave it out entirely and focus on the kale.)
2 vegetarian sausage patties, chopped (I like Morning Star Farms Original) (You could also use an actual meat sausage or leave it out all together.)
1 bunch kale, rib removed and leaves cut into bite size chunks
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Add the onion and garlic and assorted veggies and saute until they soften up. Add the sausage and the chopped kale. It will seem like a lot to fit in the pot at first but after a few minutes it will start to wilt down. Add the broth, water, beans and some salt and pepper. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. The kale will take a little while to get nice and soft.
Taste and season again if it needs more salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with a little grated parmesan if you like.
Add more water if you like a thinner soup.