Yesterday, we showed you how to make croutons for the soup, and you could have even made them then, anticipating making this soup today. If so, great! That’s what scratchin’ is all about, planning your meals and making them bit by bit.
For the soup, we wanted something that would use some kale that we received in our CSA share, maybe a Portuguese kale soup, but we really didn’t have a recipe. We did, however, have a recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville that sounded interesting because it used spices and herbs that we don’t normally associate with soup. Things like fresh rosemary and fresh sage. Rosemary and sage for stuffing, yes, but soup? We’ll, as it turns out, resoundingly, yes! Now, we didn’t have everything that Ms. Somerville called for, and no real fresh herbs, but we forged ahead, with the idea of using sage and rosemary in our bean-kale soup.
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp crushed garlic (about 1 clove)
- 1 can (14 ounces) tomatoes
- 1 can (14 ounces) white beans — we used Great Northern
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into strips
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2-3 Parmesan cheese rinds
We wanted a fast soup, so we used canned beans. If we had any pre-made in the freezer we would have used them, but we didn’t, so canned it was. Parmesan cheese rinds: we save them in the freezer for soups or broths. They add great flavor, and why would you waste ’em?
Saute onions and garlic. Cook them until tender and slightly browned.
Add tomatoes and herbs. Pour the can of tomatoes into the pan, then add the sage, rosemary, basil, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, or until much of the liquid is gone.
Add beans. Pour the can of beans in, then add a can (14 ounces) of water. We fill the tomato can with water to get out the last dregs of tomatoes. Bring back to a boil.
Add kale and cheese rinds. Reduce the heat to simmer, and simmer 20 minutes or so.
Adjust seasoning. Taste, and, if needed, add salt and pepper.
Serve. Remove the bay leaves and cheese rinds. Dish into bowls, top with those rosemary croutons we made yesterday, and then, just to be decadent, top the croutons with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
See, scratchin’ up soup really is easy. We like it because the soup we can make at home is much better than anything you can get at the store, and it’s better for you too. Far less sodium for one thing, and more vegetables for another. Plus there is nothing as comforting as a big bowl of homemade soup (except, perhaps, mac ‘n cheese).
Now, this was actually the first time we made a soup like this, and it is really good! You don’t necessarily notice the sage and rosemary — they aren’t foremost in the flavor profile — instead, you get a woodsy-earthy flavor that is perfect for fall and winter. Fives, ’cause we are making this again.