Kale and White Bean Soup

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I went to NH to visit my parents and I’m afraid to say that all this California sunshine has softened me. My parents talked about how it has been warming up; I piled on layers, wrapped myself in a blanket, and sat in front of the fireplace every evening.

My mom made this soup one night, and I can’t tell you how nice it was to eat a big mug of it sitting on the brick hearth, the fire roaring.

Like with a lot of soups, the flavors get stronger over time. I reheated it for lunch the next day and it was even better!

Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds kale leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup shallots, chopped (about 4)
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 15oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 tablespoon assorted dried herbs (tarragon, parsley, etc.)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic. Cook around 10 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened.
  3. Add the white wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add white beans, 4 cups of vegetable broth, thyme, and the bay leaf.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the kale and dried spices. Stir in the white wine vinegar and sherry. If the soup is too thick, add more broth, if desired.
  7. Simmer for five more minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Pumpkin, Kale, Black Bean, and Gnocchi Stew

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I live in sunny southern California now, so winter isn’t quite like last year when I lived in central New Hampshire (too many -15° mornings for me!). When eating a bowl of this, I couldn’t help but think this would be the perfect meal for a snow day. It’s thick–the stew is somewhere in between a soup and a curry–and the smell of simmering pumpkin and cinnamon would be great after a trek in the snow.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 package (approximately 17.6 oz) gnocchi
  • 2 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cups kale, ripped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

A couple notes: I normally try to make my meals low-sodium, but this stew really does taste better with salt. If you’re sensitive to spicy food, reduce the cayenne and chili powder to taste.

Directions

  1. In a large pot, stir together the pumpkin and milk. Cook until it reaches a boil.
  2. Add the gnocchi, black beans, chili powder, cinnamon, and cayenne, then return to a boil.IMG_0269
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.
  4. Add the kale and simmer until the kale is slightly wilted.
  5. Add salt and pepper, to taste.