A warm bowl of hearty soup can be comfort food on a chilly day. Unfortunately, most prepackaged soups are loaded with sodium, even the brands that claim to be healthy. Based on their nutrition fact labels, the following "healthy" soups have too much sodium for us. In a one cup serving:
- Amy's Organic Light in Sodium soups average 315 mgs of sodium.
- Health Valley Organic Less Sodium soups average about 470 mgs of sodium.
- Imagine White Bean & Kale soup has 480 mgs of sodium.
(Read our "Cutting Back the Salt" post which explains our mission to identify and cut out excess salt from our diet due to the harmful effects on the body.)
Wouldn't it be wonderful to eat a bowl of soup that comforts, and is good for your health too? These benefits are available in one of our favorite home cooked soups featuring white beans and kale in a rich vegetable stock.
The creaminess of the beans along with the sweetness of the carrots tempers the bite of the kale. As the soup simmers, the aromatic herbs, spices and vegetables blend together, and release their healthy nutrients. Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list. This is an easy soup to mix up since all the ingredients go into one big pot. This delicious soup is well worth the time spent prepping, measuring and stirring. You will get eight generous servings out of this recipe, which might even be enough for leftovers. This soup will keep in the refrigerator for a week, or pack the leftovers in the freezer for a later date.
Feel free to experiment with this recipe by adding in other vegetables such as sweet potatoes, turnips, or parsnips. Other beans would be suitable, such as black or pinto. I prefer white beans because I like the way the color pops against the orange carrots and green kale. Consider substituting the kale with another green leafy vegetable such as spinach or chard. If you have access to fresh herbs you can use them instead of the dried herbs. Here's a link to a dry to fresh herb calculator.
Since we don't use salt, I add in the kelp granules to ensure we get our iodine. Low sodium vegetable broth (135 mgs of sodium per cup) is used for the base and depending on how thin you like your soup you can always add in some more water towards the end.
You can avoid large, leafy clumps floating in the soup by finely chopping the kale (or whatever greens you choose) using the chiffonade technique.
YouTube video from Cook123 channel
Hearty Kale and White Bean Soup
Dig into this hearty, nutrient rich vegetable soup seasoned with herbs and filled with tender kale. This recipe makes 8 generous servings. Freeze the leftovers or refrigerate. This soup gets better as it ages.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kelp granules
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) white beans drained and rinsed: i.e., butter, great northern, cannellini
- 1/2 lb (or a bunch) kale, finely chopped leaves with ribs removed and discarded.
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water (optional)
- In a large soup pot heat oil on medium heat.
- Saute diced onions, carrots and celery until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in a few tablespoons of water if the vegetables start to stick to bottom of pan.
- Add in chopped garlic and herbs: rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme.
- Continue sautéing for another minute or so.
- Stir in low sodium vegetable broth.
- Add in kelp granules, bay leaves, black pepper and beans.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.
- Stir in the finely chopped kale leaves and apple cider vinegar.
- If you like a thinner soup add in the water.
- Continue to simmer for 20 minutes and stir occasionally.
- Soup is ready when the kale is tender.