A Healthy New Year’s Eve

Monday was New Year’s Eve, and it was in the 20’s when I got up. I don’t really do well if it gets below sixty, so I was cold. After I got off work I decided to make something nice and warm for dinner.

My Car Windshield

My Car Windshield

I really have been trying to eat healthier since I went to my doctor’s. (I promise! The butter was a fluke.) So I decided to make a vegetable and bean soup. I found the original recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (I used 1/2 of an onion)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrot sticks, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 7 cups kale (Mine was purchased stemmed & chopped. If yours isn’t, you’ll want to do this)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans of beans (The original recipe called for 1 can of black beans and 2 cans of cannellini beans. I had neither & used 2 cans of kidney beans and 1 can of white northern beans. It turned out fine.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (I went cheap & used a hearty sprinkle of dried rosemary.)

I typically do most of my chopping while cooking, but in this particular recipe there wasn’t a lot of spare time to chop. I made it work, but it would probably be much easier if you have the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic pre-chopped. Just a heads-up.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and swirl to coat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for 6 minutes or until tender. (I use the onion as a guide. If it’s translucent, it’s good to go.) Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and the garlic, cook for just a bit (30-60 seconds).

At this point, my mouth was watering. It smelled delicious!

At this point, my mouth was watering. It smelled delicious!

Pour in 3 cups of the vegetable broth and all of the kale. It is going to look like the soup is entirely made of kale. It’s not; I promise. Kale cooks down quite a bit.

If you have a blender, place 1 can of beans and the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth into it and blend until smooth. If not, use a potato masher and mash the beans into the 1 cup of broth. Once there are no more whole beans, it’s ready to be added to the pot. I don’t have a blender, so here are my beans:

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Add the mashed bean/broth mix, the other 2 cans of beans, and the black pepper to the soup. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, red wine vinegar, and rosemary.

I have a thing for thick soups-if it’s not nearly a stew, I won’t eat it unless I can drink it. It has to be one extreme or the other. I was prepared for this to be a little thinner than I like, so I’d prepared a pot of orzo to serve the soup over.┬áThis is actually a pretty thick soup, so it didn’t need the orzo. I love carbs though, so I still served the soup over the orzo.

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Wonderful warming soup!

Wonderful warming soup & orzo!

I love the way this tasted. It’s very filling, but doesn’t leave me feeling stuffed. Next time, I might use a little less rosemary, and a bit more garlic and add some basil.

When reheating leftovers, I added a bit more vegetable broth as it thickened up quite a bit as it sat. I have had two meals for two out of this, and have enough for at least one more.

Hopefully this will warm y’all up just as much as it did me!!