06.13.12_White Bean Kale and Pesto Soup

I know I say this in every blog post but talk about easy. Seriously I don't know why people don't make homemade soup more often. It is so simple, tastes great,  and there are endless possibilities. I have bookmarked a lot of soups but never really got around to making them (except for the Roasted Corn Soup and Matzo Ball Soup) but when I saw this recipe for White Bean Kale and Pesto Soup I knew we had to try it sooner than later. 

Normally on Wednesdays during the summer Phillip has softball with his colleagues after work. He had asked me to come watch this week so I decided I would go ahead and make the soup the night before so that when we got home from the game, dinner would just need to be heated up. I thought this would be a good recipe to make the night before since soups and stews always seem to get better the longer they sit as the flavors marry.

All I had to do was cut up 4 carrots, dice an onion, and mince 4 cloves of garlic. After that laborious (italics=sarcasm font) prep work was complete, I put a couple of TBSP of oilve oil in a big stock pot over medium heat. I dropped in the carrots and onions and cooked them until they started to soften, about 5-8 minutes. Next, I added in the garlic, oregano, parsley, and cooked for another minute until until everything was nice and fragrant. Finally I poured in 4 cups of veggie stock, the white beans (which I had strained and rinsed), and the kale. Whole Foods had frozen kale so I opted for this so that I would be able to use as much as I wanted without worrying about left overs. So often kale is sold in those massive bags so I thought the frozen would be a better option since I didn't have a need for 2lbs of kale today, but I digress. Finally, I brought the mixture to a boil, lowered the temp and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Normally what you would do next is remove the soup from the heat and mix in 1/2 cup of grated cheese and 1/2 cup pesto, top it off with some fresh nutmeg and you'd be all set. Since we weren't eating it until the next day I stopped here, then when we were ready to eat it the next night, I reheated the soup on the stove, and mixed in the cheese and pesto then. I used store bought pesto because I was being lazy but obviously you could use fresh and it would probably taste even better. I would have never thought of mixing pesto into a soup like that but it added that extra flavor to make the soup special. We served the soup alongside some crusty bread for dipping. Scrumptious. Here's the recipe.

White Bean Kale and Pesto Soup
From Katie at the Kitchen Door

Serves 4 to 5
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 4 c. veggie stock
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen kale (I ended up putting in almost 3 cups of frozen kale because it just didn't seem like enough/we love kale)
  • 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c. pesto
  • 1/2 c. grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot, and saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables have begun to soften.  Add garlic, oregano, and parsley, and cook 2 minutes more, stirring.
  2. Add chicken broth, kale, and beans, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until kale and carrots are tender.  Remove from heat and stir in pesto, cheese, and nutmeg.  Serve hot with additional grated cheese.

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