I love soup so much. Like, an incredibley ridiculous amount. If I could, for the rest of my life, cozy up every night on the couch with a delicious bowl of steaming soup, I would. I like soup so much, it’s almost inappropriate.
The last time I made white bean soup was Fall of 2006. And it was really really good. For me, that’s a looong time to go without making something again when I enjoyed it. So, on Sunday, I was trying to think of what to make for dinner for the next few nights, and that somehow popped into my head. Why it didn’t pop into my head any of the other 70+ Sundays have passed since the first time I made it, who knows. However, when I set about to make a grocery list of ingredients, I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what I put in it besides white beans. So, I had to make up a new recipe. I googled “white bean soup” to get some ideas, and ended up buying cabbage, celery and kale to go along with the beans.
Kale-what a wonderful wonderful veg. I am NOT a fan of cooked greens at all. I love raw spinach, but hate-really really hate-cooked spinach. Swiss chard-yuck. Collard greens-ick. (side note-a month ago, I was at an Ethiopian restaurant with some friends and one of the things we got for our special crazy spongy Ethiopian bread was collard greens. Everyone was raving and shouting about how amazing the collard greens were, and forcing me to eat them. I was NOT a happy camper. Afterwards, everyone said that was their favorite dish. WTF?? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have mutant taste buds or something? Anyone else hate cooked greens??) I digress…kale is the only cooked green that I can stomach. In fact, I love it! So, I thought it would go well in this soup, so bought some of that too.
I got home from the store and just started cooking. I was totally beat, so I wanted to get it done fast (I was really tired from the night before and that cold had gotten to me-bad). Also, I was doing it while doing laundry at the laundromat. Thankfully, I was able to get it together in about 20 minutes, and then let it simmer for as long as I could stand it. I was sooo excited for my bowl and I cozied up on the couch to eat and watch the cutest thing ever- Marion Cotillard win the Oscar. I took my first bite, ready to be entraced, and I was…underwhelmed. It was good, but slightly bland. I couldn’t tell what was missing, and I still can’t. I added more salt, more thyme but didn’t have anything else to add. I added a tiny drizzle of my really really really good Spanish olive oil on top and that helped alot. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it just wasn’t as good as I knew it could be.
Since Sunday, it was gotten MUCH better. Last night it was especially tasty. And I froze about 2 servings so I’ll have more to eat soon and look foward to. So, maybe this is just a make-a-day-ahead soup. Gotta let those flavors mingle. I think next time I’ll use veggie broth instead of water as the liquid. If anyone tries this recipe and uses broth, please let me know!! But, don’t get me wrong-it was still good! Just not fantastic. At least it offset the oreos.
White Bean & Kale Soup
I can’t be 100% sure on amounts for herbs, but you can use your judgement
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 stalks of celery
1/2 head small cabbage
2 cans of white beans (I used navy beans this time, but you could use cannollini), drained and rinsed
A good bunch of fresh thyme
1-2 teaspoons of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon of ground sage
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
1 bunch kale, off the stems and roughly chopped.
Saute the onion and garlic in a large pot in olive oil till golden. Add the celery and keep sauteing, still the celery is brown-about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage that has been sliced and saute for about 2 more minutes. Add beans, herbs and salt & pepper(to taste) and enough water to make it the soupy consistance you desire. Simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. Add the kale. Simmer, covered for about 25 more minutes. Take the cover off and simmer for about 20 more minutes. Eat!!!!! -better the second day.
I hope this is clear enough-I am trying to remember everything. Let me know if something doesn’t make sense.