This healing White Bean And Kale Soup is light and comforting at the same time… it’s so delicious!
It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s about time for me to make a big pot of soup. On Sundays and Mondays, oftentimes I feel like creating more complex dishes. You know the kind… the ones that have separate sauces and lots of different components. The one’s that make your kitchen look like a bomb dropped on it. But, come mid-week, I’m all about the one-pot meal. And today, it’s a soup kind of day.
I find all soup comforting. Maybe it’s because it’s served in a bowl. Or maybe it’s because I love the great aroma of all of the things cooking together in one big pot. Or, maybe it’s because I love hot food. I guess it really doesn’t matter why… but it’s a good thing.
And, I’m a firm believer that soup is not just for winter.
I live in the city now, and if you would have told me before I moved here that I would be eating soup year round, I’d have thought you were crazy. I mean, the city in the summer can be really HOT. But, at our house in the burbs where we often kept our windows and doors open to feel the summer breeze, eating soup was a great thing to do as the night cooled down. Moving into the city though has caused me to pump up the AC way more than I’m used to, so soup season extends here too — sometimes it’s freakin’ cold in here even in the summer!.
But, adapt we must… so the AC cranks up as soon as it gets warm. And, soup season seems continue on much more naturally because sometimes it’s really freakin cold in here… even in the summer. Haha… how times change.
So, about this particular soup. It really is comforting. And it’s healing. And it’s one of those soups that lets you actually feel the energy seeping into your body as you eat it. Really, you can.
The white beans get a great creamy texture as they cook down. And then to make the soup even creamier, I blended up a little of it and stirred it back into the rest. The fresh rosemary gives it a really awesome herby taste and well, you are just going to love it.
I love to put raw Chinese herbs into my soups while they are cooking. And, depending on what my body needs at the time, I choose my herbs accordingly. This is a totally optional step, and doesn’t effect the recipe at all, but I’d love to help you learn to do this too — because infusing your soup with herbs is just awesome. I put some energy/qi-building herbs in this pot of white bean and kale soup and oh my… it’s like magic.
I have made this soup many times. I’ve seen so many different versions of this soup on so many different blogs that it makes me switch up the recipe a little bit each time I make it but I’ve never been disappointed. This time, as I was about to fire up the stove, I saw yet another recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs: The First Mess. It looked so good, that I had to change up my recipe yet again and implement some new components. I have to give a big thank you to Laura because this is the best version of white bean and kale soup yet!
Another great soup recipe you will love is my Cauliflower Chickpea Soup.
Here’s some of the great healing ingredients in this white bean and kale soup:
Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. Make sure you clean the kale leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.
White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!
Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.
Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.
Rosemary is great for your digestion, your heart, and your libido. It also can help boost your energy.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Also, whenever I cook anything with some liquid, I like to add some Chinese herbs for whatever conditions I feel need help at the time. One of my favorites is Huang Qi (Astragalus). It is great for an over-all strengthening of the body and it’s energy. So, when I set this pot to simmer, I added some raw Huang Qi and let it infuse into the soup.
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely minced
- 2 15-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch Lacinto (black) kale, thick center ribs removed and discarded, leaves chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- dried red pepper flakes, to taste
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 stick Huang Qi/Astragalus (optional)
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrot, and celery.
- Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring until the veggies soften a bit, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, rosemary, beans, and broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Ladle ⅔ of the contents of the pot into a blender and blend until smooth, then stir this smooth mixture back into the pot with the rest.
- Stir in the kale.
- Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.