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Kale, white bean, and pasta soup

November 1, 2009

Kale, White Bean, and Pasta Soup

I’ve been on the lookout for great soups lately.  The weather has been wet and dreary and it’s getting colder, darker.  It kind of seems like we skipped right by all the beauty of Fall.  My little maple tree in the backyard was gorgeous for a day.  The next day the leaves were scattered all over.  Anyway, this all brings me back to wanting some nice warm, satisfying soup recipes.

This one really fits the bill.  It’s hearty and healthy, and is definitely going to be simmering in my kitchen a lot this winter.  It uses the usual vegetables, plus an addition of turnips and kale.  The original recipe calls for a spice called Harissa, which I had never heard of.  I googled for a substitute and found that I could use a combination of spices that I did have and get a similar flavor.  I’ve marked all my changes in green next to the original recipe.

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers.

Recipe:  Kale, White Bean, and Pasta Soup

(adapted from a recipe found at Cookbook Catchall)

1 lb+ Kale, thick center stems removed, chopped roughly

1 lb dried cannellini beans (note: for faster cooking time, soak beans overnight)  (I used 2 cans of white northern beans – rinsed and drained slightly.)

1 26 oz can chopped tomatoes  (I used a big can of diced tomatoes.)

1 large onion, diced

3 medium-sized carrots, diced

3 turnips, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus rind  (I didn’t have a rind because I had bought a tub of already grated Parm.)

1 cup small pasta  (My pasta was a whole wheat seashell pasta.)

1 Tbs Harissa  (These are the spices I used as a substitute for Harissa:  1 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 1/2 tsp. coriander, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper.  If you want more heat, add more cayenne pepper.)

2 Tbs olive oil

8 cups water (or half water, half vegetable stock)  (I used 4 c. chicken broth and 4 c. water.)

1 small bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped roughly

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sweat carrots, onions and celery in olive oil with a healthy sprinkling of pepper until translucent. Add turnips and saute for a few minutes.

Add water, tomatoes and dried (or canned) beans and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to a simmer. Add Parmesan, Parmesan rind and Harissa (or spice substitutions) (note: Harissa is very spicy – if you do not enjoy spicy soup, reduce quantity or omit Harissa).

Simmer for 45 – 90 minutes until beans are just tender (timing will depend on whether you soaked the beans overnight). Add additional water, cup by cup if soup is too thick. Add pasta, kale and sprinkle liberally with salt. Add additional Harissa or pepper to taste.

Cook until pasta is barely tender (it will continue to cook once you have removed the soup from the heat). Again, add additional water if thinner soup is desired. Remove and discard parmesan rind. Add Italian parsley. Serve with some nice, rustic bread.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2009 5:22 am

    I’ve really been in the mood for soup lately. This sounds just right.

  2. November 1, 2009 12:39 pm

    This sounds perfect for fall. I love kale, and think it goes so well with white beans. Your soup looks so colorful!

  3. November 2, 2009 2:42 am

    yum! this is so very colorful, and that broth alone is just the type of thing to turn a bad day around. lovely fall creation!

  4. November 2, 2009 10:55 am

    I agree, there’s nothing better than a hearty, warm soup for dinner on a chilly fall day! This soup looks perfect…healthy, filling, and delicious!

  5. November 3, 2009 8:10 am

    Looks and sounds good though I may have to cut back on the spice so Babygirl will eat it.
    ~ingrid

  6. oneordinaryday permalink
    November 4, 2009 3:13 am

    Ingrid – Actually, with only that pinch of cayenne, it was pretty mild. Could be my cayenne is old enough to have lost some of its heat, but I think you’d be okay. I’ve heard the original spice is a real kick though, so you might not want to go that route. Let me know if you try it though.
    ~ Michelle

  7. Mia permalink
    December 30, 2011 8:42 pm

    I tried this last week and it was perfect! Thanks for the recipe (a bit late)

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