Kale. Lovely Kale!
Besides being incredibly delicious, these healthy curly leafs contain a chemical called, sulforaphane, that has potent anti-cancer properties! Awesome, right?? Makes you want to eat loads more! Sulforaphane is more potent when eaten raw, and when kale leaves grow larger some varieties can be rather strong to eat raw. If this is the case, I would recommend using baby kale available at some health food or grocery stores.
Speaking of fighting cancer, I wanted to introduce my readers to a very courageous and inspiring woman, Heather Von St James, who began fighting cancer over 6 years ago and is now cancer free! I was incredibly touched when I heard her story and just love her remarkable and encouraging blog, found here!
Ready for another interesting raw kale fact? Kale freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavorful once chilled! I usually give my kale an ice bath before tossing in a salad.
I think I can voice for pretty much everyone that soups are a universal household staple. Warm, hearty, usually healthy and great for leftovers! One downside? Canned foods are found in most recipes. I do know sometimes it's hard to completely cut-out canned foods, but I like to avoid it when possible. Plus it's so easy to plump up those hard dried beans in a snap, well, almost a snap! Simply place rinsed beans in a pot, cover with water, leaving about 2-in of water above them. Bring to a boil and take off heat. Let sit for 1 1/2 hours, drain and rinse. Easy and far more healthful then canned!
The fresh beans add such a rich texture and taste to this soup!
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White Bean and Kale Soup
Recipe created by Epicurean Mom
Yields 7-8 servings
2 cups dried cannellini beans, rinsed well (white kidney beans)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
1 1/2 cups carrot, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
8 cups kale, coarsely chopped
3 small yukon gold potatoes, washed and diced (leave skin on)
1/3 cup strawberry tomatoes, quartered (any kind of small tomatoes will work)
1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Place rinsed kidney beans in a medium pot. Cover them with water until they are completely submerged, leaving 2-inches of water above them. Place over medium-medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Take off heat and let sit uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Drain and rinse well. Set the beans aside.
In a large dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add all ingredients, except for diced potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 30-35 minutes, until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, I also add a sprinkle of Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute (I love this seasoning!)
Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with shaved parmesan cheese.