White Bean Soup with Kale


A healthy meal to help us all recover from our holiday feasting! This warm soup is perfect for a windy or rainy spring day and makes use of those holiday leftovers that might still be languishing in your freezer. Turkey or chicken can be substituted for ham if you prefer.



2 tsp olive oil
12 oz kale
1 oz pancetta or lean ham
1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 15 oz. cans no-salt-added white beans, drained and rinsed (you can soak your own if you can’t find no-salt-added)
4 cups water
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp maple syrup
to taste resh ground pepper

1. Slice the kale in half lengthwise (if the leaves are wide) and then cut into thin strips crosswise.
2. Place one teaspoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until wilted. Remove from the pan.
3. Add the second teaspoon of olive oil and the ham. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
5. Add the beans, water, marjoram, salt, pepper and maple syrup. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the carrots are soft to the bite.
6. Remove 1/4 of the soup and puree the remaining 3/4 using a stick blender or blender.
7. Put the 1/4 of the reserved soup along with the kale in the pan and stir. Heat through and serve.

Maureen Witmer is the Director of Outreach and Engagement, as well as the Recipe Specialist for TakeThemAMeal.com.  Her recipes and photographs can be found on the recipe section of TakeThemAMeal.com.  She and her husband Andrew, a professor of History at James Madison University, live in Harrisonburg, Va.  Maureen works from home where she cares for their young children.


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