Portuguese Kale Soup with White Beans

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DavidThis hearty, colorful soup is perfect for any time of the year. The sun-dried tomatoes add a nice piquancy and chewy texture. If you don’t have parsnips, just add some more carrots.

Portuguese Kale Soup
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4 to 6
  • ½ cup dried white beans (navy, pea, or Great Northern)
  • 2½ cups water or vegetable stock
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1 potato, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 small parsnip, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1½ cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)
  • 12 dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about ½ cup), soaked in boiling water to cover
  • 4 cups loosely packed, chopped kale
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook the beans in the water or stock with the whole garlic and two bay leaves; the beans should be tender in 1 to 1½ hours.
  2. While the beans are cooking, prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the ground fennel and minced garlic, and sauté for a minute.
  4. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the potato, carrot, and parsnip and sauté for another minute before adding the tomatoes, stock, two bay leaves, and oregano; simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the soaked sun-dried tomatoes and chop coarsely.
  7. Add to the soup pot with the kale and the drained, cooked beans.
  8. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have mingled.
  9. Add the saffron and salt and pepper to taste.

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