Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cauliflower, Kale and White Bean Soup

With the holidays so near, everything is starting to get busy. Between our normal activities, trips to the gym, and holiday baking and other preparations, we seem to be occupied every evening. This is not the time for complicated, time-consuming recipes (though I still love them, and have a good one to post some time soon!). This is the time for simple goodness simmering in a pot.

This soup is really easy to throw together, using some of my favorite winter vegetables. I can never get enough cauliflower. It's good in soup, roasted, pureed in pasta sauce, in curries, and sometimes even raw. Roasted cauliflower, in particular, doesn't last very long in our house. Leftovers are a rare occurrence. This soup didn't last long, either, since it combined the wonder of cauliflower with delicious, nutritious kale. I don't know about you guys, but when I eat kale, I feel so much more energetic and alert. Those vitamins must be doing something good!

What made our batch of soup extra special is that we made it with some of our Thanksgiving turkey stock. That stock turned out so thick and rich that it gelled in the fridge. There was definitely some extra protein floating around in there. If you have homemade poultry stock, it will make this soup more delicious. If you don't, it'll still turn out pretty good, and good for you!

Cauliflower, Kale and White Bean Soup
Adapted from What Would Cathy Eat?

2 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, white and light green parts sliced and soaked
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 c kale, chopped
2-3 c cannellini beans, cooked
1 small head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
6 c turkey stock
2 c water
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dried parsley (fresh would be better, if you have it)
salt and black pepper to taste (my stock is unsalted, so I had to add a lot of salt to the soup)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook about 10 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add kale and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the beans, cauliflower, stock, water, bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender. Stir in Parmesan and serve. (Remember to remove your bay leaf!)

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