Kale is so awesome that it might overshadow the white beans in this particular dish but white beans (also called navy beans or Northern beans) a’re a standout food on their own. Kale is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, calcium along with a number of other micronutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin (both important for vision) that are all really important for a healthy body and immune system. It’s low in calories and loaded with fiber to help you feel fuller faster and longer. So how can white beans possible compete? They offer a different variety of nutrients that complement those present in the kale: calcium, iron, and other micronutrients like coumarin and ferulin which are currently under scientific investigation for their activity as antioxidants.
Oh right, soup. Gather together the following.
12-16oz bag of dry white beans
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and cut into ribbons
1 tomato, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cube of bouillon a pinch of cumin seeds (optional)
1.5 L water (does NOT include water for soaking the beans)
salt and pepper to taste
To prepare, I recommend soaking the beans overnight (or at least 4 hours) to reduce the cook time of your soup. Cover the beans completely with water plus another inch or so. The beans should about double in size. Don’t be alarmed. It’s normal. I like dry beans because it’s cheaper but if soaking dry beans isn’t your thing, 2-3 tins of white beans works great and will reduce your prep time considerably.
In a huge pot, add the olive oil and coriander seeds and wait until the seeds start to sputter. Add the tomato and garlic and stir a few times.
Add the beans and stir until they’re coated with the tomato and olive oil. Add 1 liter of water and the bouillon. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1.5 hours (longer depending on how dry they are, just keep testing them to see when they start to get tender). Start to stir in the kale a handful at a time when the beans start to soften.
Add more water until you reach the desired consistency. Remove the bay leaves. Bring to a boil before serving.
Other things you can add to this traditional favorite include: sliced vegan chorizo or soy sausage, pasta, and sun dried tomato. Add the chorizo or soy sausage right after the kale so it doesn’t fall apart, you can also brown it lightly in a fry pan first. If you add sun dried tomato, add it with the regular tomato. I like this soup for lunch. It’s inexpensive, highly nutritious and delicious.
This is Christie, signing off.