Kale and White Bean Soup recipe – New Year’s Day!

Kale & White Bean Soup

Well HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 to you! What’s better than starting out the new year with something healthy? This soup is so good on a cold day, it heats you from the inside out! Note that it truly is better made a few days ahead, but it’s perfectly acceptable on day one! Have a small bowl and enjoy your day… then settle down to a big bowl in a night or two, you won’t be sorry! I served it with a small salad and an olive baguette that I heated up from Trader Joe’s… oooowie!

Here’s the printer friendly version from Epicurious, it’s a keeper for sure!

I used Great Northern beans which were so perfect in this soup. Silky smooth without falling apart, even after several days of reheating!

I want to mention that adding the parmesan rind (from all the reviews I read) is IMPERATIVE! Don’t skip that step. We’re fortunate to have a Whole Foods nearby, I bought a container of them for $1.80, enough for several pots of soup!

The recipe says 1 bay leaf (not from California). Not sure where my bay leaf was from, it didn’t say?? It was fine!

For the sausage… I’m not a big smoked sausage kind of gal… wanted something healthier, so I opted for fresh chicken hot Italian sausage and it was PERFECT! Just the right amount of bite that livened this soup up nicely. Mild Italian sausage would be nice as well.

I left out the carrots. They would have been pretty, but my husband isn’t a big lover of carrots in soup, and I thought they could easily be left out of this soup, although I might do a few long shreds into the soup next time for color…

I used local Kale… not sure what variety it was, but it was fabulous!

When I make a recipe I like to have all my ingredients measured out and ready to go…

Soup Ingredients I

Ingredients II

I snip the ends off the sausage and cut longways and the sausage falls right out of the casing… brown it, drain it and set it aside to add near the end of the recipe…

Chicken Hot Italian Sausage

Kale And White Bean Soup

Gourmet | February 2002

Yield: Makes 6 main-course servings
Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 3 hr


1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely choppedAccompaniment:provolone toasts


Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

•Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.•Lacinato is available at farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores. Be aware that it has many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, and flat black cabbage.

Let me know how you like it! It’s a super tasty, soul warming treat!
Soup anyone?

Catch you back here tomorrow!


Recipe! White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Bacon

Recipe (and image) by GoodLifeEats!

LOOK at this amazing macaroni and cheese! Something DIFFERENT… as soon as I saw it I ran to the store and bought the ingredients. This Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon recipe is by Katie Goodman, author of the Good Life Eats blog. Well, LOOK at that photo, doesn’t that just look so darn good? Well, let me tell you. IT IS! At first I was skeptical. Kale? Hmmm. Not sure if I like kale. I know some people love it. I also know some people really don’t love it. I emailed Katie to see if there was a good substitute for something less “kaley”, she offered the suggestion of swiss chard. Ooooh, I love swiss chard! So that’s what I was going to buy, but instead I saw that the kale was local and in season, so I thought I would try to be a grown up and try it. Guess what? I LOVED IT! It’s got to help to have cheese and bacon to go along with!

These are the only things I changed… Since there are just two of us, I made half a batch, which was enough for 4 servings (hefty servings). I left out the garlic (which we normally eat quite a bit of), nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. I used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp white cheddar (ohmygosh!) and I used the white fiber seashell pasta to make it a little more “healthy”. I also didn’t make the croutons on top, if I would have had the bread on hand I would have, but it was delicious without it as well!

Check out Katie’s blog, and if you’re a macaroni and cheese lover, give this a try. It’s heaven on a plate!! Here’s the recipe from Good Life Eats! My version is below, clink on the printer icon to print the original recipe from Good Life Eats!

Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon



1 lb. macaroni
3 tablespoon butter
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
1 ounce parmesan, finely grated
dash nutmeg
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces center cut bacon
3 1/2 ounces fresh kale, chopped (about a half a bunch)


Cook pasta one to two minutes less than package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Cook bacon, drain, break into pieces and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter. Sauté onion for 3 – 5 minutes over medium heat, tender. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat till golden. Slowly whisk in the milk while cooking over medium heat.

Stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheeses, mixing until melted. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper, and salt (if desired). Bring to a slow simmer, and then stir in the pasta, bacon, and kale. Oh, this is going to be so good!

Transfer the pasta mixture to a 3 1/2 quart oven safe casserole dish or cast iron pan (as mentioned in the original recipe. Bake at 375 degrees F on the center rack in the oven for 10-20 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.


Catch you back here tomorrow!