I’m home alone again this week, and usually that is my excuse to make peanut butter and jelly or pancakes for dinner! But I’ve seen so many recipes for white bean and kale soups lately—and can’t remember where I’ve seen them—so I decided to make one up tonight. This is a very loose recipe, so feel free to play with it as you like. For me it is just the right balance of creaminess with chunky vegetables.
I used a few items I had from my recent CSA box, including a bag of braising greens (mostly kale and chard) and a big leek. If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast yet, give it a try. I was a little nervous about it the first time I used it—it looks a little bit like fish food! But I have grown to love it. I’m not sure why it sounds so odd—yeast in bread is normal, so why not yeast in others? It adds a great flavor to your dish, reminiscent of parmesan. I buy it in bulk at Fred Meyer (Kroger superstore)—if this is your first time just buy 2 T and if you love it you can go get more!
Bookmark this recipe so you don’t lose it—it’s a winner!
White Beans and Greens
1 big leek (or an onion will work), cut small and cleaned
2 large carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T nutritional yeast
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
6 c water
1 c pearled barley cooked separately in 3 c salted water, not drained
2 c white beans (or one can)
2 c loosely packed greens, chopped and stems removed (kale, chard, etc.)
Prepare barely according to package directions—essentially bring 3 c water to a boil, add 1 c barley, return to boil, reduce to simmer and add salt and cover. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the soup.
Saute leek in about 1 T olive oil until softened (4-5 minutes) in large soup pot. Add carrots and sauté a minute longer. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper and stir well. Place bay leaves in pot and add water, starting with just a little to deglaze the pot, and then adding the rest. Add in half of the beans and bring to a boil. This will help the beans to break down into a creamy broth, while the reserved beans will provide a nice texture.