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Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale Recipe

This is no ordinary soup! It has a super creamy texture without any dairy or nuts and features wholesome and comforting yet gourmet flavor boosters. A weeknight dinner or meal prep must (16 fiber + 19g protein!). Its luscious texture will feed your soul while the unique flavors and zesty finish will keep you coming back for more. 

This white bean soup gets its natural creaminess from just two ingredients: white beans and potatoes. No dairy, coconut milk, or cashews needed! When partially blended, the cannellini beans and potatoes become velvety smooth while naturally thickening the soup. Just don’t forget the crusty bread for dipping! 

Also, it’s surprisingly easy! First of all, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen and pantry. Second, it’s made in just one pot. Just use an immersion blender to blend roughly half the soup right in the pot.

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4 | Calories: 376 kcal 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 generous tablespoon olive oil*
  • 1 large sweet onion (or yellow onion or leek), diced
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 ½ cups (840 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth**
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves + 1 large sprig of sage + 1 large or 2 small sprigs rosemary, tied tightly together with kitchen twine***
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 6 ounces or 170g), peeled and finely diced
  • 2 (15-ounce/425g) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans)
  • 1 (14 ounce/400g) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 small head of lacinato kale, center rib removed and shredded (about 1 small bunch)
  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil (for finishing)

Gremolata:

  • 1 loosely packed cup (12g) Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ loosely packed cup (8g) fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, left whole and peeled
  • 2 medium lemons (I prefer organic since we’re using the peel)
  • Coarse or flaky sea salt

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots, along with a pinch or two of salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened and starting to just turn brown, 6-9 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook another 1-2 minutes until very fragrant.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth and deglaze the pot, stirring up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the 1 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper to taste, bouquet garni, potatoes, cannellini beans, and artichokes (if using). Stir well.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. While the soup is simmering, make the Gremolata.
  6. Finely chop the parsley and basil. Using a microplane, grate the garlic directly over the parsley and basil. Then zest the lemons on top of this mixture, taking care to not zest the white pith underneath the skin.
  7. Mix the garlic and lemon zest into the herbs and chop the herbs until they’re finely minced. Sprinkle with a bit of the coarse or flaky sea salt.
  8. Transfer half of the soup to a stand blender and blend until thick and smooth. Then return this pureed soup back to the pot and stir to incorporate.
  9. One-pot option: Remove bouquet garni and use an immersion blender throughout half of the soup, but be sure to not blend it all – you want to retain some texture.
  10. Add the kale to the soup and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender but still bright green. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt as needed. When the soup is done, remove the bouquet garni.
  11. Serve the soup in bowls and sprinkle a generous amount of the Gremolata over each bowl and a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil.
  12. If storing leftovers, add the gremolata to a jar, drizzle some olive oil in there, and refrigerate. Spoon this over leftover soup.

 

Notes:

* You may need to use a bit more oil if you’re not using a nonstick pan. 

** Use 3 1/2 cups of broth (840 mL) if you want the soup to be very thicker; use 4 cups (960 mL) of broth for a slightly thinner but still chunky texture.

*** Don’t have kitchen twine? You can do the following: 

(1) Just add the herb sprigs into the pot and use tongs to remove them after cooking; or (2) MacGyver it: tie the herbs using a leftover scallion or the string from a tea bag; or(3) Chop the herbs (not the bay leaves) and sauté them when you add the garlic.

 

Recipe by Nisha Vora / Rainbow Plant Life

 

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