In my efforts to eat more vegetables and reduce the amount of daily calories, I took my tortellini soup and changed it up. Took out the tortellini, added more vegetables, and added a can of white kidney beans (cannellini beans).
One of the vegetables I added was a bunch of roughly chopped kale. This is the first time I have ever eaten kale, and it worked wonderfully in the soup. The leaves are quite tough, so the first servings of soup had some still crunchy kale in it. The kale softened in subsequent servings of the soup the next day. If I had used spinach on the other hand, it would have been overcooked and wilted if left in the soup, and I would have had to add fresh spinach every time I ate a bowl of the soup.
The beans added some protein and, together with a piece of whole grain toast, made the soup into a healthy meal with few calories.
Vegetable and bean soup
Makes approximately 6-8 servings.
One chopped medium onion
5-8 diced or pressed cloves of garlic
Three cups chopped celery, including leaves (the leaves are a nice substitute for parsley)
Two cups chopped carrots
One bunch of roughly chopped kale leaves (I discarded the stems and it came up to a cup or maybe more of kale.)
One can diced or crushed tomatoes (796 mL/28 oz)
One or two cans of white kidney/cannellini beans (540 mL/19 oz)
900 mL/32 oz/4 cups of broth (I used two cartons of low-sodium beef broth but you could use chicken or vegetable broth.)
Italian seasoning, fresh ground black pepper, and salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and fry your garlic and onions until the onions start to turn translucent but do not let the garlic burn.
Add your celery, carrots, tomatoes, and soup stock. Add the spices. Let simmer until the vegetables are tender enough for your taste. I would recommend not letting it cook until the vegetables are very soft, as a slight bit of crunch is nice to have when eating the soup.
Add the canned beans and kale, and add additional spices if needed. Cook until the kale wilts. If you like softer kale, add the kale earlier so that it has more time to cook.