A Squared: In My Lunchbox This Week: Tuscan White Bean & Kale Soup

Monday, March 11, 2013

In My Lunchbox This Week: Tuscan White Bean & Kale Soup

Today is going to be a rough one-- not only is it Monday, but it's the first Monday after we "sprang forward" yesterday and lost an hour of sleep. Blah.

Our weekend was pretty low key, which was nice. Sunday in Chicago was blustery-- overcast and rainy all day. It was the ideal kind of day to stay in, lounge around, and cook. We made it home from the store just before it started pouring and I got to work on a hearty and healthy soup that I'll be enjoying for lunch this week. This soup is flavorful, easy to make, and includes all of my favorite good-for-you seasonal ingredients: kale, butternut squash, fresh rosemary, and white beans, among other veggies. I'm so excited to share this recipe with you!

I love to make a big pot of soup on Sunday to divide up and take to work for lunch all week. It's a great way to make sure I have a healthy and filling lunch every day without a lot of work during the week. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to prep a salad after I've worked all day, gone to the gym, and made dinner. Most nights I just want to relax. Homemade soup is my secret lunch weapon!

  • 14.5-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces
  • 4 large kale leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium redskin potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 1⁄2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Sliced rustic bread, for serving

Add the beans, half the carrots, the celery, the onions, and 5 cups of broth to a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Ladle half the broth and vegetable mixture into a large bowl and set aside. Using an immersion blender, purée the remaining mixture in the dutch oven until blended and smooth.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked garlic and oil, along with the remaining carrots, the squash, kale, potato, 1 cup vegetable broth, and reserved soup mixture to the purée in the dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Add the bay leaf and stir in fennel seed, thyme, and rosemary.  Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. 

Serve hot with toasted bread.

Inspired by original recipe courtesy of Saveur.

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