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White Bean and Kale Minestrone

This recipe was inspired from a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Sundays at Moosewood by the Moosewood Collective (Fireside, 1990). Serve with Pumpkin Pecan Muffins and Our Favorite Salad.  Also nicely balanced with Emerald City Salad served in Roasted Squash halves.  Reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family.

1 1/2 - 2 cups finely chopped kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
3 cups cooked white beans*
2 ˝ cups stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4-6 fresh sage
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated
pecorino cheese

Wash kale and remove the stems from the leaves.  Rollup kale leaves and cut into thin ribbons.  Set aside.

In a 4-quart soup pot, heat olive oil and sauté the garlic briefly over medium heat.  Add about half of the cooked beans and part of the stock.  Puree the rest of the beans and stock in the blender along with the tomato paste and sage.  Stir the pureed beans into the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the kale into the soup and simmer until kale has wilted (about 10 minutes). Add the lemon juice and enough water to make the soup a desirable thick consistency.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.  Serve the soup topped with pecorino.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Makes 3-4 servings

FOR BABIES 10 MONTHS & OLDER:  This soup makes lovely baby food for the baby used to eating beans.  Just puree a small amount before adding lemon juice and cheese.

*I show cooking the beans in a pressure cooker.   You can also soak 1 cup of dry beans overnight, drain off the soaking water, put them in a pot with 2 cups of water/stock and a bay leaf, bring to a boil then simmer with the lid on or slightly ajar until they are tender (will take about an hour).


Erica LePore
Oh how I love this soup. Every member of my family of five loves it, too. It is such a joy to cook when the kids will eat what I've made. My sister shared it with me from the new version of your cookbook because her family also devours it. I've made it for friends and extended family, too, and it's always a hit. Thanks for another great one, Cynthia. You're always in my kitchen with me. Erica
December 12, 2009, 6:19 am

Janine Prichard
Suggestion: before you add the last bit of water to the soup, put the water in the blender and zing it for a couple of seconds to capture all that good bean stuff that would otherwise go down the drain. I love these stormy-day kinds of soups! Great with cornbread! Thanks.
December 12, 2009, 10:29 am

JoAnn Christensen
Oh! That's brilliant. I can't wait to try this one. You are such an inspiration to me, Cynthia. I'm starting to love to cook again!
December 12, 2009, 11:48 am

Joel Saenz
I love your shows and this recipe is ace! I'm going to make this with Peruvian beans and some fresh garden swiss chard.
December 16, 2009, 2:16 pm

Shari Kestas
Made this for the first time today - so delicious!
January 11, 2010, 5:38 pm

Sophia salle
You guys are a breath of fresh air in a difficult (and often tedious) domain which you handle so well!
January 28, 2010, 7:39 am

Carolyn Carlstrom
This soup sound so good on this wintry night in March!
March 10, 2010, 9:48 pm

Carrie Martin
I'm salivating just reading the recipe. Can't wait to try it.
March 21, 2010, 5:15 pm

Sheila Broatch
While doing fall cleaning in a clients garden I found plump, but not-yet-dried, Scarlet Runner beans. They made great minestrone.
June 22, 2010, 12:56 pm

Sheila Broatch
While doing fall cleaning in a clients garden I found plump, but not-yet-dried, Scarlet Runner beans. They made great minestrone.
June 22, 2010, 1:03 pm

Ashley Serafin
This soup is fabulous! It's hard to believe such an easy and quick recipe can yield such a flavorful delicious soup! We've made it four or five times since finding the recipe and kids, adults, and baby love it. Thanks!
June 26, 2010, 8:52 am

nina bean
Can't wait to try this . what kind of blender do you use?
September 19, 2010, 9:18 pm

Emily Peck
Would it be ok to use canned white beans that are ready to go? Any suggestion on the best kind of bean? I'm excited to try this!
January 12, 2011, 10:36 pm

Cynthia Lair
Nina - I use a regular cone-shaped blender or an immersion blender. Emily - Try canned organic cannelini beans.
January 12, 2011, 10:45 pm

Kristin Morrissey
Another biggus hittus from cookus interruptus in our family. One of our picky eaters -- who is now a self-declared member of the 'Two Bite' club -- took two bites and then many more. The rest of us wished mom had doubled the recipe. Yipee!
April 20, 2011, 6:40 am

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