My step mother concocted an awesome White Bean Soup recipe a few weeks back, and passed it onto me. I tried making the vegetarian form last weekend (albeit slightly altered – see my editorial notes in italics) and not only was it as simple and delicious, it sustained me all week long. Highly recommended – let me know if you try it.
“Really Yummy White Bean Soup”
48 oz. Chicken or veggie stock (Note: I used vegetarian “Better than Boulion” – my broth base of choice)
1- 14 oz. Can diced tomatoes, drained
4 -14 oz. Cans cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans)
1 Medium yellow onion, diced
1 Bulb garlic, roasted (Note: I roasted 2 bulbs and saved some to make garlic bread – extra flavor to account for the lack of meat)
2 Medium carrots, diced
½ head of curly kale roughly chopped, de-stemmed (Note: I used a full head for extra substance)
OPTIONAL: 1 pinch red pepper flakes (Note: mom says optional; I say crucial)
OPTIONAL: Turkey sausage
Roast garlic by cutting off top, drizzling with olive oil, wrapping in foil and cooking in 350° oven for 30 to 40 min (until soft). If using sausage, remove casings and brown, breaking into pieces over medium heat. Remove sausage from pan and set aside; pour off grease.
In a large kettle, heat 1 T of olive oil. Add half of diced onion; cook 3 – 4 mins until slightly soft. Add stock; add ½ of the roasted garlic (squeeze softened cloves into kettle), reserving the rest for toast. Add 2 cans of beans.
Over medium heat, cook above ingredients for 5 – 10 mins. Place pot in sink and blend together with hand blender until smooth (if you don’t have a hand blender, a regular one will do).
Return mixture to heat. Add: carrots, remaining onion, kale, tomatoes and pepper flakes. Simmer 10 – 15 mins until carrots are firm and tender. Add remaining 2 cans of beans and optional sausage; simmer 1 – 2 mins. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Highly recommended accompanyment: use the remaining roasted garlic to make some cheesy garlic bread, and then dip like crazy.