Two-Bean Soup with Kale

by Anne Bennett on November 5, 2017

The topic at Weight Watchers meetings this week is all about beans. Vegetarians eat them as a protein replacement for meat; chili lovers (with the exception of Texans!) add beans to their beefy concoctions. New Year’s Eve revelers hope that Hoppin’ John, made with black-eyed peas, will bring them good luck.

Beyond the stereotypes for this humble legume, beans are a healthy, plant-based source of protein. They’re loaded with fiber and can help us feel more satisfied than foods laden with carbohydrates or fats. That makes them an excellent, low cost food for weight loss. This soup, from Cooking Light, is made with two kinds of beans and kale. When I first made it, I thought there was too much kale to fit into my soup pot, but the video accompanying the recipe proved me wrong. It’s meant to be brimming with kale. Don’t back off now, because this is probably the best, non-threatening introduction to kale you’re likely to get. It’s delicious, provided you use lacinato kale, which looks like this:

Trim the center stem from each leaf, stack them together and thinly slice them before adding to the soup. Remember, there will be lots of kale. Fear not, it will come together as it cooks. If you’re hesitant, you can add more broth to thin it out.

I did as the recipe suggested and pureed one can of cannellini beans, which thickened the soup and gave it a rich texture. The second night I added a shredded chicken breast to the leftover soup and it was fabulous. Be sure to adequately season this soup. It will taste less-than-amazing if you don’t.

So now you know what to do: use your bean.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
7 cups (1 bunch) stemmed, chopped lacinato kale
2 (15-oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained and divided
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups chicken broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes or until kale is tender.

Place one can of drained cannellini beans and remaining 1 cup of chicken broth in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add pureed beans, remaining cannellini beans, black beans and pepper to soup.  Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, red wine vinegar and rosemary. Add additional chicken broth if soup is too thick.

Makes 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)
WW SmartPoints per serving: 5

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