Introduction: Kale and White Bean Soup

Here is a hearty winter vegan soup that will give even the most ardent meat eater a temporary respite from bacon.  I know "Who would want that?" you say. Well no one i know, I just ran out of bacon.

Step 1: Here Is What You Need.

Here is what you need for this recipe:

1 pound bag of white beans - I used great northern beans but really any white bean will work
5-6 carrots - sliced
onion - diced
garlic -  one smashed clove is enough for me
chicken base - or chicken stock, just use the stock instead of water
thyme - love it
olive oil - no Popeye though
bay leaves -2-3 is enough
fresh kale - I used 2 bunches for this amount of soup.
Optional -sausage or bacon ( I couldn't resist)

I used dried beans and soaked them overnight then pressure cooked them at pressure for 18 minutes. If you put dried beans into this soup it will not work. If a pressure cooker or the time to cook the beans is not available use canned. Save yourself the headache.

Step 2: Everything But the Kale and Beans

Chop your carrots into about 1/4" slices and toss them in your pot. I normally have my pot warming up at this point, med high temp. You can add the oil now too and kind of stir fry the carrots while you add the onion and garlic. My hint for the garlic is to smash it and pull the meat out of the skins instead of trying to peel the stinky things. I like garlic just not enough to smell like it.I add the smashed garlic whole that way I can pick it out if needed. Once all of your root crops are in the pot with oil add your seasonings and stir up the mix some. Side note on bay leaves, while they do impart a nice taste to the food they are mostly there to dictate who is doing the dishes. If they get a bay leave they do the dishes.stir fry everything for 3-5 minutes then cover with just enough water or broth and bring to a boil. If vegan doesn't work for you adding sausage at this point is a great idea. I suggest a white sausage like bratwurst.

Step 3: Chop and Add

Kale is pretty forgiving, as long as its obtained during the cool times of year. Here in South Texas that's the 28 th of February till the 1st of March, plus or minus a few hours. Well not really but pretty close. After the kale goes to seed it gets bitter and inedible, but while its still cool its nice and sweet. Wash your kale well as the wrinkly leaves will hold a surprising amount of field seasoning, aka dirt and bugs. Then just chop it into 1/2" pieces. I normally bunch up an few leaves and chop it from tip to stalk. I throw away the stalks. Once the kale is chopped I toss it into the pot on  top of the boiling soup and cover the pot. I cook it like this until the kale gets greener. As it cooks it turns from a ashen green to a bright green. When the kale is bright green stir everything up and off to the next step.

Step 4: Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit?

After your kale has greened and started to wilt some add your precooked or canned beans. I added the entire pound of beans after they have been cooked and then covered the entire concoction with the leftover beans water. Bring it back up to a boil.

Step 5: Come and Get It

Let the soup boil a minute or two then serve hot. The contrasting color make a very pretty soup and is actually hearty without any bacon/meat. I hope you enjoy, Thanks.