I know it's summer. The sun is out, and I'm sweaty. But there are times, even when the mercury is about to bust out of the top of a thermometer, when it just feels good to curl up on the couch with a bowl (or mug) full of steaming soup and stream movies on Netflix. Like how I felt the other night.

Using the two bunches of Russian red kale that I got in this week's CSA share and a few other ingredients, I made a kale and white bean soup. (Plus it helped me clean out the pantry, and I was finally able to use up all those cans of Cannellini beans that I had somehow managed to stockpile.)

So here's how I did it. And reminder, I'm not a chef. I just like to eat.

Ingredients: 

  • Two bunches of Russian red kale (or any kale you have), stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-in wide strips
  • One onion, diced
  • Two garlic scapes, chopped into thin slices
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth) 
  • 4 cans of Cannellini beans
  • 1 big can of diced tomatoes (or in my case, a can of whole tomatoes that I diced) 
  • Salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium-high heat, I sautéed the diced onion and chopped garlic scapes in EVOO for about a minute. (I could've used a few garlic cloves, but I wanted to use the scapes that I received in the previous week's share. )

Then, once the chopped onion softened, I added in the kale a little bit at a time, stirring it until the leaves would start wilting. Once I got all of the kale in there, which was a LOT of kale, I poured in four cups of chicken broth and turned the head to medium. Then I covered the pot and let it work its magic for 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

After 15 minutes, I dumped in the beans. Yes, I used four cans of beans. Which seems like a lot, but I made enough soup to last for a couple of days. I made sure to rinse the beans first, however. 

Then I took the can of whole tomatoes and diced them up. I had no fresh tomatoes, and I didn't have any cans of diced tomatoes. All I had was five cans of tomato paste (which I keep buying for no reason) in the pantry, and this one huge, family-size can of whole tomatoes. Thankfully it worked. 

After adding the beans and tomatoes, I covered the pot back up and let it work for another 10 minutes. I'd lift the lid every now and then to smell it and taste the broth, which I seasoned with salt and pepper.

When it was ready (all done in under 30 minutes, so take that, Rachael!), I poured myself a bowl and grated some Parmesan on top. I always have a wedge of Parm in the refrigerator. And I grabbed a spoon and started slurping!

Easy to make. Happy to eat. Even in the summer.

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