Clean out your fridge soup. Pantry soup. Everything soup. I wasn’t quite sure what to call this one. It’s always chock full of vegetables, with canned tomatoes and white beans and leafy greens thrown in for color and texture. White bean minestrone seemed like the most accurate title, or maybe I just gave up and called it a day!
We always have good canned tomatoes, chicken stock and beans on hand, and a variety of vegetables in our crisper. Sometimes I make a big batch of minestrone only because I don’t want all the vegetables to end up moldy and limp and in the trash. The best past is a “big batch of soup” almost always means there’s a quart or two leftover to tuck away in the freezer.
Layer in the flavors, and add a sprinkling of salt and pepper as you go. Chicken bone broth adds deep flavor and it’s a great cold-buster (and I usually have some in my freezer) but good quality store bought vegetable broth or low-sodium organic chicken broth works well too. Look for low-sodium varieties in order to control the seasoning. If you don’t have white beans, use garbanzo beans. Or use both! I’m crazy like that.
Get out the soup pot, chop up some vegetables and get this medley simmering on the stove. Top with some grated Parmesan, a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and some chopped parsley. Two out of three of my kids inhale this (they must not realize they’re eating a dozen vegetables in one sitting). Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Kale and White Bean Minestrone
A pasta-free minestrone that will use up all the odds and ends in your vegetable crisper. If you'd like your soup thinner and less like a stew, add two additional cups of stock or water.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed
1 leek, washed well and diced
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes, torn or cut up and added to the pan with juices
6 cups chicken stock or water
2 Yukon gold potatos, diced
5-6 pieces of broccolini or 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1 bunch, about 6-7 leaves, Lacinato, curly or purple kale, chopped
1 14-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 head white cabbage, about 1 1 1/2 cups, chopped
1 Parmesan rind
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher, sea salt or Himalayan)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large, heavy pot warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, carrots and celery and a sprinkling of salt. Stir and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Use your spoon to break up the large chunks of tomatoes. Add the stock or water, potato, broccoli and Parmesan rind. Cook on a low boil until potatoes soften, about 20 minutes.
Add the kale and the drained white beans, stir well and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning if necessary.