The last day of this season’s Soup’s On program, we served large pots of seemingly never ending turkey vegetable soup to a crowd of friends and neighbours. So many dropped by to get their last fix of the Soup’s On experience to last them until fall. When we had served the last tray of sweets and the kitchen was back to its sparkling self, there was a bit of sadness that we wouldn’t be doing this for the next five months. Of course, there was also feeling of relief as we looked forward to the next five months of living in one of the best places on earth during its summer weather.
However, when I got home that day, with the program’s finances to be balanced and the summary to be written up for our files, for some whacky reason I felt the need to make soup. I’m sure there’s an analyst out there that could explain this to me. Maybe it was because I hadn’t done the soup for lunch that day (I had done the baking) and felt that the day was somehow incomplete?
Or perhaps it was because that morning I’d soaked beans thinking that they’d be part of our dinner. Well, now dinner was going to be soup. We had a pound of fresh Chorizo sausage from Jollity Farm, and I had recently done a similar version of this for Soup’s On in early March, so started to pull it together as I worked on the accounts. Multi-tasking doesn’t always work when cooking, but soup is very forgiving.
This so easily becomes a vegetarian soup, just leave out the sausage, and add in ½ t of dried chilies when you’re sautéing the onions.
Enjoy it like it might be the last bowl of soup you have, until the weather changes next fall.
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1# dried beans Cannellini or Great Northern – about 2 cups – the night before or early the morning of use (minimum of 6 hours), soak the beans in lots of fresh, cool water. Before starting the recipe, drain and rinse the beans.
6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
1 heaping T of chopped fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves – fresh is best!
2T olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled & chopped
½ a head of garlic, peeled & chopped
2 t salt
6 good-sized carrots, trimmed, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then crosscut
4 c water
1# fresh chorizo (or spicy Italian sausage) – cooked and cut into 1” pieces.
1 big bunch of kale – at least 12 oz but no more than 16 oz – washed well, any tough stems/ribs remove and the leaves coarsely chopped
1 t pepper
fresh herbs to finish – use basil, oregano or savoury – about 2 T chopped
In a large soup pot, place the pre-soaked beans, stock, rosemary and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the beans are just tender. Check the beans after about an hour of cooking to check for doneness.
While the beans are cooking, prepare your vegetables and sausages, ready to continue on with the recipe.
When the beans are ready, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Sauté the chopped onions until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in the garlic and salt and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Add the cooked onions and garlic to the cooked beans and broth.
Add in the carrots and water and bring the soup back to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
Add sausages to the soup.
Add the kale to the soup, stirring well.
Continue cooking until the kale has cooked down and the carrots are tender.
Stir in the pepper and the chopped fresh herbs.
Adjust seasoning if needed.