Kale Bean Soup

Don’t you love when you can throw random ingredients from the kitchen together, and they somehow create something surprisingly amazing?  This was one of those dishes that caught me off guard with how well it turned out.

Lately I’ve been on a mission to use up all of the odds and ends ingredients I have stored in my kitchen cupboards. I recently accepted an internship with the Discovery Channel, so I’ll be dividing my summer hours between D.C. and the CSA I worked at last year. That means I won’t be making it up to my current hometown of brotherly love too often. It also means some rather innovative combinations of ingredients have been landing on my plate in recent days in efforts to efficiently clean up my kitchen.

With fresh kale in my fridge, I decided to pair it with some beans and tomatoes I needed to use up.  But I wasn’t feeling the classic greens saute.  I love kale, but sometimes all that chewing it requires makes me put off using it. (That probably explains the green smoothie obsession I had at one time.)  To avoid that jaw-aching task, I put my beloved food processor to work.  Paired with some spices, this dish reminded me a lot of the creamy Indian spinach dish Saag.

Note:  Canned beans actually work well in this dish because they tend to be a little undercooked. If cooking your own beans, keep them on the firm side, which will lend a nice consistency switch-up to the creamy soup.

Kale Bean Soup

-1 onion, diced
-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
-15.5 oz can light kidney beans
-1 lb. kale, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped
-1 slightly heaping Tbsp. curry powder
-1 tsp. garam masala
-1 tsp. coriander
-Scant 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1/4 cup chives
-Cholula, optional

In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high.  Saute onions until translucent.  Add tomatoes and kale.  Stir in curry powder, garam masala, coriander, and garlic salt.  Cook until kale is tender but still bright green, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer kale mixture into a food processor, leaving a few tomato and onion remnants in the pan, if desired.  Puree until smooth.  Return contents back to pan.  Stir in kidney beans.

Serve, topped with chives and cholula, if desired.

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