Soup, as promised! I’m not doing a lot of long, labor-intensive cooking these days. We do a lot of one-pot meals and roasting – things that can be prepped ahead of time and started with the push of a button.
Even so, I’m trying really hard to make healthy eating a bigger priority these days. I fell into the (inevitable?) trap of living mostly off of sugar and granola bars after Graham was born, and I’m just now starting to feel a bit more empowered to change that.
I don’t have grand delusions that I’m going to eat spinach-packed frittatas for breakfast or overflowing bowls of salad for lunch each day. Those meals tend to be grab-n-go and heavy on the carbs (bagels, PB&J, etc.). So I do my best to make up for it a dinner – the more veggies the better.
This soup came together one magical weekday night where Graham chilled out peacefully in his bouncy seat with me, and Daniel Tiger kept Cullen occupied so that I could get a healthy, warm dinner into the table. Thrown together on a whim, it turned out tasty enough that I wanted to share.
A mix of root veggies, beans, and greens – it’s a hearty complete meal that comes together easily. And served along side a crusty baguette of bread, you might want to consider doubling the batch. We could not stop going back for more!
White Bean and Kale Veggie Stew with Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (4-6 servings)
1 small onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
3 parsnips, diced
2 cans white beans (great northern, cannellini, etc.) rinsed and drained
4-6 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups kale, de-stemmed and shredded (I cheated and used Trader Joe’s bagged kale!)
salt to taste
Sourdough or French bread baguette (optional)
For the topping
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. We’ll start by cooking backwards – starting with the finishing topping. Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas and spread evenly in a glass roasting dish (or onto a sheet pan if you prefer). Coat generously in olive oil and salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
While those are getting nice and crunchy, let’s make soup! In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions, carrots, and parsnips until beginning to soften. Make sure to cut into a fine dice – small enough bites to fit onto a soup spoon!
After about ten minutes of sautéing, add the veggie broth, spices, and white beans. Only use enough broth to create a "chunky" soup, or use more if you prefer a thinner consistency. You are going to blend the soup eventually, and if it’s too thick at that point you can always add more to thin it out, but thickening is much more difficult once the liquid has been added.
Add the kale and stir to cover as much as possible with the hot broth. Remember that it is going to wilt down quite a bit once cooked, so don’t worry if it doesn’t all fit within the liquid when raw. Cover and cook at a simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the kale has wilted and all the veggies are soft, it’s time to blend. Using an immersion blender, puree slowly until about 75% of the soup is blended (adjust more or less depending on your preferences). I like to leave a bit of soup whole and chunky in order to add more texture and dimension to make it a stew. (Smooth pureed soups remind me of baby food, but maybe that’s just me?) Adjust seasoning as needed – throw in a few hefty pinches of salt!
By now the chickpeas should be roasted and ready – nice and crunchy! Serve soup into bowls and top with chickpeas straight from the oven – the hotter the better!
Scoop with a few slices of crunchy French or sourdough baguette – delicious!
I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but we have a really hard time convincing Cullen to eat anything more exotic than blueberries or toast. But we watched in awe as he literally wolfed down his entire bowl – motivated by the promise of more baguette slices to come. Sure, it was all slathered on bread, but who cares?
A delicious and healthy meal the whole family can enjoy. I polished off our leftovers the next day and it was just as tasty. And any leftover crunchy chickpeas make for a delicious salad topping!
Simple, quick, and tasty, which is what we strive for these days. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Have a great weekend.