Shame on me for never posting a soup recipe throughout this entire winter! Last week the perfect opportunity arose. I was out of fresh kale but needed to make a healthy and hearty meal for P who’s had a massive man-cold over the past week. My only option was to break out the kale that I froze a few months ago and I knew a great way to use it would be in a soup. Like most recipes with kale, it’s a pretty blank canvas, and you can add or take away whatever ingredients you choose.
Unfortunately, I do not plan my dinners enough in advance to think about soaking beans the night before. But I do hope soaking beans becomes a more frequent part of my cooking routine. Mainly because I cringe more than ever while opening a can of beans. Knowing there is one less person, machine, or whatever that touched the beans by cooking them myself is comforting. And in France, organic canned beans are difficult to purchase. It’s not impossible but like I have to preemptively think about soaking beans the night before, I would also have to travel via métro to buy bio canned beans versus just picking them up at Monoprix. Perhaps soaking beans will be something I grow into and turning 29 in July will do the trick?
Along with the white beans, I went with a basic tomato base but decided to keep it chunky versus using my immersion blender. I also took advantage of the cauliflower and day-old bread I had as additional ingredients.
While the soup is simmering, I roasted the cauliflower in olive oil without any salt or pepper and baked the bread, with a splash of olive oil on each piece and a dash of garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Topping the soup with these two items gave it a different twist and the soup was even heartier for the cold winter nights.
Kale, White Bean and Tomato Soup with Roasted Cauliflower
1/2 bunch of kale or a few handfuls of frozen kale
1 400g/14 oz can of tomatoes
1 can of white beans or 1 cup of dried white beans
2 leeks, thoroughly washed and diced
3 to 6 cloves of garlic, diced (we like a lot of garlic so I always use more)
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth or water
2-3 fleurettes of cauliflower, chopped into small tree-like pieces
Day old bread, cubed
Salt & Pepper
Garlic salt & red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Preheat the oven to 300 F/180 C.
2. Chop the leeks and dice the garlic. Add to the pot and stir until the leeks soften.
3. Add the white beans and continue to stir for 5 more minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and 4 cups of broth. Bring soup to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
5. While the soup is simmering, you can make the roasted cauliflower and croutons. About 5 minutes before serving, add the kale. You can add as much as you want but I felt a handful per person was a good amount. Adding it at the end and letting it cook in the hot soup broth for 5 minutes keeps the vivid green color for serving.
6. Be sure to only add the cauliflower and croutons right before serving so they appear more as a garnish versus part of the soup – and so the croutons are not soggy.
7. As with everything, a dash of parmesan cheese on top adds a nice touch.