Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kale and White Bean Soup with Bacon

The holidays have come and gone. Now I'm just freezing, broke, and a few pounds heavier. Luckily, soups are part of my ultimate post-holiday rescue plan. Soups are warm, yummy, hearty, healthy and cheap. This recipe is one of my favorites made with kale, white beans and bacon.  The homemade croutons add the perfect crunch to a soup that is filling and easy to make. You can pretty much add any other veggies (or meat) and it will still be delicious. This is a great recipe to make on Sunday afternoon and let simmer all day.  The smell fills the house and you will have leftovers for lunch all week!
Kale and Cannellini Soup with Bacon
1 small onion {diced}
2 cloves garlic {minced}
3-4 slices of bacon {more if you like}
4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 bunch kale {rinsed and chopped}
3-4 carrots {peeled and cut}
1 can cannellini beans {drained and rinsed}
Olive Oil
Bread {optional}
Parmesan Cheese {optional}
Homemade croutons and parmesan cheese are the perfect finishing touches
Recipe: Cut bacon into small pieces, trimming large areas of fat, and sauté in a large pot over medium heat. If there is a large amount of excess fat, drain off leaving just a coating in the pot.  Add diced onion and garlic and sauté until the onions start to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and bring to a low simmer.  If more liquid is needed, add water 1 cup at a time. Add the thinly sliced kale and reduce the heat. Add the beans and allow the soup to simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.  In a small pan, heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil to medium high and add the pieces of cubed bread. Cook until crispy, flipping sides as needed. The soup is ready to serve but the longer you allow it to simmer the more intense the flavor gets. Serve with homemade croutons (or grilled bread) and grated parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!