With a chill in the air this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, this was the perfect week to have a dinner with some warm, comforting bowls of soup. We had two great soups this week accompanied by a wonderful salad and some delicious sourdough bread. Taylor made a Kale and White Bean Soup and I made Cauliflower Cheese (with some help from my expert vegetable choppers, Mary and Taylor). Both of these soups were really easy to make and tasted fantastic; I highly recommend you try these recipes for yourselves!
Kale & White Bean Soup (a Martha Stewart recipe):
- 1 pound kale, stems (and veins, if desired) removed and leaves washed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans cannellini beans, (14.5 ounces each), drained and rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock, or reduced-sodium canned broth
- Salt and pepper
- 4 thick slices country bread
- Grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)
- Cut or tear the kale into 1/2-inch strips. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add about half of the beans, and lightly mash with a fork. Add water and stock, and bring to a boil. Stir in kale, remaining beans, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer until kale is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Toast bread. Ladle soup into bowls, top with toast, and drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup (a Jamie Oliver recipe from his book, Jamie’s Ministry of Food):
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 medium onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 800g (about 4 cups) cauliflower
- 200g (1 cup) cheddar cheese
- 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes (I used vegetable)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. English mustard
- Nutmeg (optional)
- Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Cut cauliflower into 1.5cm slices.
- Put a large pan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
- Grate the cheddar into a bowl and put it aside for later. Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.8 litres (just over 7.5 cups) of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the vegetables. Give the soup a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheese and mustard. Using a hand blender or liquidizer (emulsifier), pulse the soup until silky smooth.
- Divide between your serving bowls and grate over some nutmeg, if you like.
Happy eating, everyone!