Friday, December 26, 2014

White Bean, Sweet Potato, & Kale Soup

Hot, hearty soup on a cold Winter day.  

There's something magical about that combination, right?  I remember my grandmother always making soups and stews throughout the colder months, helping to bring heat within and keep the whole family resilient and strong against sickness.  The frigid wind, the biting frost, the ice underfoot, and the cold that made it hard to breathe - all of that was made much more bearable knowing there was hot soup waiting for us at home to enjoy together as a family.  

And while the Winters of central Texas are a far, far, far cry from the Winters of Michigan I experienced growing up [cue dramatic echo], there still remains an undeniable urge within me to follow the lead of my grandmother's spirit and make soups that will satisfy, ground, and heal during these months.

White Bean, Sweet Potato, & Kale Soup with Rosemary
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time:  5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time:  none necessary
Cooking Time:  25-30 minutes
Yield:  4-6 servings

1 tablespoon oil
2/3 c onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 c sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 15oz can white beans, drained
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

3 c warm vegetable stock or water
salt, to taste (optional)

raw kale chiffonade
fresh lemon juice, to finish
fresh parsley, to garnish

What you'll need:  medium saucepan with a lid, non-slotted cooking spoon

1.  Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until just beginning to soften and become translucent and then add garlic and sauté for another minute.
2.  Add diced sweet potato and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until just beginning to soften.  Add drained white beans and rosemary and stir to combine and heat through.  
3.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce heat to low and cover, allowing soup to quietly simmer for about 10 minutes.
4.  Uncover and stir, using the round edge of the spoon to mash some of the beans and sweet potato against the sides of the saucepan to help thicken the broth and give it a velvety texture.
5.  Before serving, place a small amount of the kale chiffonade in the bottom of each bowl and pour the hot soup over it.  Garnish with fresh parsley leaves and a small squeeze of lemon.
Note:  While you could definitely season and serve the soup now, I would definitely/strongly/highly suggest that you wait until the next day to enjoy it and season it to your taste at that time.  Like just about every other soup or stew, how it tastes on the following day is worlds apart from how it tastes fresh from the stove.  

Simple.  Beautiful.

Building flavors.

Smashing beans and sweet potato.

I love the pop of color and texture from adding the kale after.

I love this soup because it's simple and yet wonderfully rich.  It's healthy and full of flavor and texture that feel light and yet will still "stick to the bones."  And giving it that extra day for the flavors to come together seriously pays off, with the evergreen pungency of rosemary and piquant garlic mellowing into the sweetness of the onion and sweet potato, the subtle crunch from the tiny ribbons of kale in harmony with the creamy white beans, and the touches of lemon and parsley bringing zest and brightness to the palate.

So whether it's snowy or sunny or you're feeling well or under the weather, I hope this recipe might find favor with you and your loved ones during these shorter, darker days of Winter.

Savor the time while you have it, breathing in and savoring the seasons of our Life.


  1. We all need this in our lives. A hearty and healing soup; to charge our minds and bodies with good nutrition =) This reminded me a bit of the Moroccan style sweet potato and kale stew that I had at a housewarming party the other week. I could make your soup tonight; I just need to see if I can swing the fresh rosemary. Thanks for the hug in a bowl, kuya! <3

  2. You're welcome, ading! I hope you do get a chance to make it amidst the snow you're getting!


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