Quick Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup

by Anne Bennett on February 13, 2013

Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese when serving.

If the title of this post makes you wonder why anyone would want a quick version of soup that contains kale, perhaps it’s time for a culinary attitude adjustment.

I confess that I needed one when I first came across the recipe in the New York Times Health column, which weekly posts recipes by famed cookbook author Martha Rose Shulman that are good for you. They’re also supposed to taste good, but I’ve come to the conclusion that taste is a highly personal thing.

Case in point: some of us munch on raw kale in salads (I’m definitely not in that group), while others would only eat a vegetable if it was fried and served with ketchup at MacDonald’s (another group I’m not in, despite recurrent dreams to the contrary).

Kale is a relatively new vegetable in my kitchen. I only buy the lacinato or dinosaur kale, which is dark green and has long, not-very-curly leaves. It’s milder than classic curly leaf kale, which is tough, chewy and to my mind inedible (taste being an aforementioned personal thing).

When added to soups and stews, kale is quite palatable. No, it’s not going to wow you like a perfectly al dente piece of penne pasta or a tender potato chunk; it does its job quietly, without bitterness, for which I am grateful, or a need for much attention. Considering that it’s highly nutritious, that’s a good thing.

I buy kale regularly now, and my guess is that this soup will make you a kale-buyer as well.  That is, if you step out of your veggie comfort zone and give it a try.

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14-1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with their juice
6 cups water (or low-sodium chicken broth, which I used)
1 T. tomato paste*
1 t. dried oregano
1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced
1/2 pound lacinato kale, washed, stemmed and chopped (4 cups chopped)
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan for serving

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add onion, carrot and celery. Saute until tender. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes with their juice and cook, stirring often,  for about 5 minutes.

Add water or broth, tomato paste, oregano, potato and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.

Add kale and simmer another 10 minutes until kale is tender. Stir in beans and adjust seasonings. Heat through and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

*You can buy tomato paste in metal tubes. It keeps well in the refrigerator door for when you need small amounts like this.

Serves 4-6

4 servings with 1 T. of Parmesan cheese each= 5 PP.
6 servings= 4 PP.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula O'Callaghan February 14, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hi Anne,
I make a recipe from Women of Great Taste that is similar…only no beans, spinach instead of kale and lentils. I will try this one.
You are sounding more like yourself, Paula

Cathy February 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Hi Anne,
For a less expensive way to use small amounts of tomatoe paste:
I buy a can of tomatoe paste and using a small ice cream scoop (which is about 1 tablespoon), drop scoops on a small cookie sheet lined with wax paper. After freezing for several hours, I drop them all into a small freezer container or baggie, and put them back in the freezer. Then when I need a tablespoon, I just grab one out of the freezer.
Love your blog! Thanks for all the effort you put into it. Hope you are already all mended or at least mending nicely after your scary fall last December!

Lynda February 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Anne,
Made this soup today and enjoyed it with some grated Pecorino cheese I got in Italy and a slice of cracked pepper beer bread I made. The soup was amazing and it was a great lunch for a snowed in day!!

Also, where did you find the lacinato kale? I couldn’t find anything but the curly leaf.

Thanks!

Rachel March 14, 2013 at 9:39 am

There is GORGEOUS organic lacinato kale on sale for $1.99 a big bunch at Natural Grocers… this is a great use for it… or maybe switch out for the swiss chard they have for the same price!!

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