Last night, I cooked for my three favorite men: my dad, my brother, and my husband.
This was the first time I had ever cooked an entire meal for my dad – after all those years he cooked delicious meals for me, I was excited to return the favor. We joked about how he never though this day would come, because when I was a kid I had no interest in cooking or helping out in the kitchen. But obviously times have changed!
The best part was, all of them LOVED this meal. And it only took an hour to make (and that includes time for the soup to simmer on the stove for quite a while, so the flavors would blend together well).
All of the produce in this meal came from Berkeley Bowl West, which is one of my new favorite places to buy my produce: it’s always fresh, organic and cheap!
I served this soup with goat cheese polenta rounds and a slice of whole wheat crusty bread with a tiny bit of butter. All in all, it was the perfect, warming, Sunday night dinner.
The Ingredients: White Bean and Kale Soup
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4-6 cups chopped raw kale
- 4 cups low-fat, low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or navy, rinsed and drained
- 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Fresh shredded Parmesan (1 Tbsp per serving of soup)
The Directions: White Bean and Kale Soup
Step 1: Chop all your veggies. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; saute until soft.
Step 2: Add kale and saute, stirring, until wilted.
Step 3: Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper (crushed red pepper + black pepper). Simmer 5 minutes.
Step 4: In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. You can also just mashed the beans in the broth with a potato masher (I did this and it worked great). Stir into soup to thicken. Simmer at least 15 minutes.
Note: I actually simmered mine for 30 minutes on low, it let the flavors combine and the kale cooked down a bit more – so it had the perfect texture. When it was done it looked like this:
Step 5: Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parmesan cheese
Step 1: Slice the pre-made polenta into 1/2 inch thick rounds
Step 2: Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick spray, arrange polenta rounds on the sheet, and top with a bit of goat cheese (about 1-2 tsp per round)
Step 3: Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, and then broil for a few minutes on high to make the polenta a little more crispy and to brown the cheese. Serve and enjoy!
This polenta is absolutely delicious: it’s warm and crispy on the outside, and gooey on the inside. A lot of people will generally fry polenta to get this same consistency, but baking it is much healthier and it tastes just as good! The goat cheese adds a creaminess that is just divine.
Not bad for a dinner that took only an hour to prepare right?
I loved how well these two dishes complemented each other. First I took a bite of the chunky and slightly spicy soup…
And then I took a bite of the polenta…