Friday recipe: Tuscan white bean and kale soup

The DMU wellness program staff are always offering information and incentives to get us to move more, eat more healthfully, reduce stress and have more fun. From the four-week Bone Builders Initiative they launched this week (tomorrow is World Osteoporosis Awareness Day, after all) to new work-out classes and equipment in the wellness center to simply being a great group of people to hang out with, Joy, Nicole, Missy, our interns and student staff provide more carrots than sticks when it comes to pursuing healthier lifestyles.

Try the super-food kale in your soup.

Below is an example – the very tasty recipe Nicole served up this week, from Julie Sochacki’s One United Harvest. It makes great use of kale and carrots, two vegetables that are plentiful locally this time of year, but it’s also an easy one to modify per your own tastes and preferences. Use this version as a guide, adding other herbs, seasonings and vegetables that you like (sliced parsnips and celery would be good). I also recommend Nicole’s adaptions – she added mushrooms and parsley and used a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and a can of basil-oregano diced tomatoes. Here’s to your health!

Tuscan white bean and kale soup (makes 10 two-cup servings)

  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced or sliced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock (Nicole used half regular and half low-sodium)
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed and chopped into strips
  • 1 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes, drained

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add bay leaf, onion, garlic and carrots. Saute vegetables until onion looks clear, about five minutes (add a little water if the vegetables start to dry out or stick).

Add broth to the pot; bring it to a boil. Add beans or chickpeas, kale, tomatoes and any other vegetables you’re using. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle servings with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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