Who doesn't love the amazingly dense nutritional value of kale? No one! There is even an entire day devoted to kale. That's right, National Kale Day is October 7th! But like superheroes, superfoods are best when teamed up with other superfoods. So before we give you this killer kale and white bean soup recipe, let's just walk you through WHY this soup is good for you from head to toe! Eyes: “Lutein, an antioxidant found in dark leafy green vegetables like kale, impacts the health of the eyes. Taking in adequate amounts of lutein has been shown to help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which leads to poor vision as you age,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN and nutrition partner of The American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Bones: “One cup of chopped fresh kale contains 9-percent the recommended daily amount of calcium. Coupled with 13-percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium found in navy beans, you’ve got a nice amount of this bone-building mineral brimming in this soup,” says Amidor. Heart: “Navy beans are an excellent source of fiber with one-half cup cooked providing close to 40-percent of the daily recommended dose of fiber. Beans contain soluble fiber, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol,” says Amidor. The kale, carrots, celery and onion also add to the fiber content of this soup. Skin: “Kale is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, which helps maintain the integrity of the skin and keep foreign invaders (like bacteria and viruses) out of our bodies,” says Amidor. Want to know what else Vitamin A can do? It can prevent acne and signs of aging. Convinced? We thought so!As an alternative, add 6 to 8 ounces of chopped smoked sausage, such as Andouille or chorizo, for a meatier dish with a kick. Ingredients:
White Bean Soup with Kale
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme
- 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups dry navy or great northern beans, soaked overnight
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed
- Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 7 to 10 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add the thyme and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, beans, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
- Partially purée the soup with an immersion blender or transfer half the soup to a blender or food processor and purée before adding back to the stockpot.
- Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Ladle into warm bowls and serve immediately.