Kale, white bean, and pasta soup
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.
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.