Kale and Mixed Bean Soup

This is a veganized version of my mom’s Kale Soup recipe – a staple when I was a kid.  This is less time consuming and healthier than my old childhood favorite, but every bit as delicious.

Mom’s version called for the 20 ounce bag of mixed, dried beans, which were soaked the night before and then cooked in the morning (sans flavor packet, which occasionally came with some of the brands).   If I have time, I still like to use dried beans, maybe not the pre-mixed beans, but my own mix of white, black, pintos or kidneys.  For the recipe below I have used the canned bean measurements, but don’t let that stop you from using the more economical dried beans!

You’ll also notice that the directions have you pureeing only the white beans, a cinch if you’re using canned beans.  The white beans also tend to be a bit creamier in texture and appearance, but it’s certainly not a requirement.  Just blend up slightly less than half of your total beans and understand the overall color of you soup base may be a bit darker depending on your mix.  No biggie.

Mom’s version also called for a mix of sweet and hot Italian sausages browned in oil, but let’s not talk about that.  In order to get the smoky depth of flavor, I like to season the soup with Alaska Smoked Sea Salt!

[recipe title=”Kale and Mixed Bean Soup” servings=”4-6″ time=”1hr 30mins” difficulty=”easy”]
2 onions, diced
5 medium carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 parsnips, diced
3 medium gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon thyme
4-5 cups low sodium stock or water
2 large bunches of kale, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cans white beans, such as great northerns, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon Alaska Smoked Salt

Steam sauté onions, carrots and celery in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.  When onions are translucent, add thyme and continue to saute for another minute, or until fragrant.  Add stock (or water, if using), potatoes and parsnips.  Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes and carrots are fork tender (~20-30 minutes).  Once vegetables are softened, scoop out some of the cooking liquid into a blender.  Add white beans, and puree until smooth, adding more cooking liquid as needed.  Add pureed beans and whole beans to soup along with torn kale.  Cover and simmer another 5 minutes until kale is bright green and tender.  Season with smoked salt and serve!
[/recipe]

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