Vegetarian Portuguese Kale Soup

My family has recently begun to make the conscious effort to stick to locally produced  meat. While this endeavor has certainly been worthwhile with higher quality, better tasting, (and all around less questionable) meat, it can often have a much higher price tag than the grocery store version. As a result, we usually eat meat around once or twice a week and usually stick to vegetarian options for the rest of our meals. Surprisingly, this has not been a challenge in the slightest, especially with recipes like this one. Portuguese kale soup is normally made with Italian sausage (and it can still be added in by all means), but the substitution of white beans make this a hearty and filling dinner that is also loaded with nutrients. Portuguese kale is also pretty safe for almost any diet: vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, gluten-free, and peanut-free! It is not hard to adapt to your preferences or diet as most of the ingredients are straight from nature.

The first step is to add 1/2 a cup of sun dried tomatoes to a small bowl and soak in boiling water for about 10 minutes. At the end of this time, simply remove the tomatoes and chop them into coarse pieces. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and support bone health, especially in women!

The next step is to warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add 1.5 cups chopped onions, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, and 2 tsp of salt and cook for about 5 minutes. You can then add about 2 cups of diced fennel bulb and cook for another 3 minutes.  Finally, stir in 1 cup of chopped carrots, 1.5 cups diced potatoes, 2 tsp dried thyme, and a pinch of black pepper. Allow the mixture to cook for 3 more minutes. Looking good so far!

 It’s time to add the beans! Stir in 2 cans of drained white beans and 3 cups of diced fresh tomatoes to the mix. You should also add in 4 cups of stock and bring your soup to a boil. Once it has reached this point, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft. If your soup is too thick, add a cup of water or another cup of stock.

 You can now add your sun dried tomatoes along with 5 cups of chopped kale and 3 tbs lemon juice. I also added a good amount of hot sauce and a splash of white cooking wine for flavor.

 Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes and it is ready to serve! I find that it tastes best with a hearty slice of multigrain bread, and there are sure to be leftovers for tomorrow (this recipe serves about 10)!

 Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1⁄2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 1 small fennel bulb, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1-1⁄2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked white beans (2 15 oz. cans), drained
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 5 or 6 cups loosely packed chopped kale
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • White cooking wine

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, soak the sundried tomatoes in boiling water to cover.
  2. In a covered soup pot on medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the ground fennel and diced fennel bulb and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, thyme, and black pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, beans, and water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are just tender. If the soup is too thick, add another cup of water.
  4. Meanwhile, remove the sundried tomatoes from the soaking liquid and coarsely chop.
  5. Add the kale and sundried tomatoes to the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the kale is tender. Stir in the lemon juice. Season with more salt and black pepper to taste.

Note: My recipe was adapted from this website! Check out the link for the original 🙂

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