Recipe: Greens and Beans Soup

Greens and Beans Soup Recipe

Here is my contribution for all of you taking care of yourself and others during this cold and flu season, while still holding tight to new year’s resolutions and fresh starts. This nutrient-packed Greens and Beans Soup recipe is easy, inexpensive, vegetarian, nourishing and very satisfying. It is chock full of veggies, beans, herbs and spices. We like to enjoy it as the main meal with a loaf of rosemary sourdough from the farmers market (dipped in extra virgin olive oil), but it could be paired up with lots of things or even used as a starter. The leftovers are awesome for lunches all week-long. In fact I think, like most soups, it gets better on day two.

Greens and Beans Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • approximately 1-1.5 quart stock (your choice – veggie, chicken, or beef)
  • approximately 15-20oz of chopped tomatoes
  • 2-15oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed (mix it up, I like using kidney and cannelloni beans)
  • 2 cups chopped kale (chopped very small)
  • 1 cup chopped chard (chopped very small)
  • 4 carrots (chopped into small rounds)
  • 4 celery stalks (chopped into small crescents)
  • 1 small head of broccoli (chopped small)
  • 3 small potatoes (medium dice)
  • 1 medium onion (small dice)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 jalapeño (minced)
  • 1T butter or EVOO
  • 1T dried thyme
  • 1T dried oregano
  • 2T fresh parsley or basil (chopped fine)
  • 2t sea salt (more to taste)
  • 1t pepper (more to taste)
  • 2T red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (more to taste)
  • Parm cheese (grated) – optional topper

Instructions

  1. Saute onion, garlic, jalapeño in olive oil or butter to soften.
  2. Add carrots and celery and sauté until onions become translucent.
  3. Add in all other ingredients except vinegar and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until potatoes and carrots are soft.
  5. Splash with vinegar and begin tasting. Using extra salt, pepper and vinegar (the amounts needed depend on what kind of stock you are using and your taste preference) taste and adjust until the soup tastes delicious and the flavors pop!
  6. Serve with a little grated Parm cheese on top or fresh herbs minced fine.

Notes: You can mix up the greens and use collards, spinach, beet tops, bok choy in any ratio. You can use dried beans, you just need to prepare them ahead of time, because the tomatoes in the soup will slow down the softening process during cooking. You can use extra jalapeño if you’d like the soup to be spicier. The amount used in this recipe adds flavor, but not much heat. You can play with the vegetables included in the soup as well. Use what you have that sounds good, such as zucchini, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Enjoy!!

Looking for other soup recipes? Check these out:
IMG_7863  Simple Squash Soup

IMG_7820  Easy Peasy Chicken Soup

IMG_7784  Crock Pot Taco Soup

IMG_5159  Summer Gumbo

IMG_4971  Minestrone

Chicken Eggplant Parm  Crock Pot Chicken and Eggplant Parmigiana

Simple Squash Soup

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Nutrient-Rich * Vegan * Paleo * Delicious * Beautiful * Easy * Quick

Recipe: Simple Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Qt Homemade Veggie Stock (can use Chicken Stock if that’s what you have)
  • 2T Favorite Sauté Fat (Coconut Oil, Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, etc.)
  • 1 Organic Carrot, chopped in chunks
  • 1 Organic Onion, chopped in chunks
  • 2 Organic Celery Stalks, chopped in chunks
  • 4 Cups Peeled and Cubed Fresh Squash (Butternut, Acorn and Pumpkin have all been used successfully)
  • 1-2t Fresh Thyme
  • 1t Sea Salt
  • 1/2t Pepper
  • Fresh Herbs, Parmesan Cheese, Bacon Crumbles for possible toppers

Instructions

  1. Heat fat in a medium saucepan (needs to be able to hold 4 quarts) on medium high heat.
  2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and thyme until onions soften.
  3. Add veggie stock, cubed squash, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until all vegetables are soft.
  5. Blend in batches in a high quality blender or use an immersion blender in the saucepan to make a very smooth pureed soup.
  6. Test for seasonings. Add salt and pepper until it has the heat (from the pepper) and the sparkle (from the salt) you desire.
  7. You can also play with the thickness of the soup by diluting it with additional stock. I often have extra squash, so I just use it all and play with the seasonings and extra stock at the end.
  8. Top with fresh herbs and/or freshly grated Parmesan cheese and/or a small bacon crumble.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 – 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Squash Soup

I love to serve this soup as a starter for a beautiful autumn/winter dinner party in small tea cups. It’s beautiful color and rich flavor make it a crowd pleaser for all, which is really saying something these days with all the different food choices people make.

At the other end of the continuum from a lovely dinner party with soup in tea cups is my quirky family of four eating dinner on a harried evening. This soup comes through for that as well. My Paleo-ish husband, vegetarian-ish daughter and adventurous-ish son will all eat a big ol’ bowl of this soup after I’ve thrown it together in record time and ask for seconds or thirds. And sometimes the bowls we are using even match.

FYI that this is one of those soups that tastes even better the second day, so making it ahead of time is a BRILLIANT idea! Enjoy.

Looking for other soup recipes? Here are a few:
IMG_7822   Easy Peasy Chicken Soup AKA Simple Brothy Goodness

IMG_7784  Crock Pot Taco Soup IMG_5159  Clean and Easy Summer Gumbo

IMG_4971  Minestrone

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com!

Read more: http://holisticsquid.com/party-wave-wednesday-112013/#ixzz2lCfBkE3n

Weekly Tip: Make Your Own Veggie Stock

Veggie Stock Ingredients

This is week two of our three-week make your own stock series. Last week we made our own chicken stock, and this week we are making veggie stock. By the end of the series our freezers will be filled up with nutrient-rich stocks without breaking the bank on cans/boxes of the store-bought stuff. Like squirrels, we are stocking up the kitchen to get us through winter!!

Veggie stock is CHEAP! I mean really really inexpensive to make. Such a bargain that you will feel silly buying it from the store ever again after making just one batch. If my marvelous math is correct, this stock came out to less than a dollar a quart. And I used beautiful organic veggies, you know the ones everyone says will break the bank.

Veggie stock is DELICIOUS! There is just something about simple food, made with love in your own home with all your own ingredients that makes food better. This rich stock makes such a wonderful foundation for soups and sauces, it really enhances all dishes with a beautiful depth to the flavor.

Veggie stock is CHOCK FULL OF EASILY DIGESTIBLE VITAMINS AND MINERALS. It adds a nutritional base to your meals, nourishing your body while jazzing up your meals.

So let’s get started!

SIMPLE VEGGIE STOCK

Equipment Needed:

  • Stock Pot – The bigger the better, so you can get more stock out of all the effort. Crock Pots will work, but most won’t hold enough liquid to get the most out of your efforts. Consider investing in a large stock pot or find a foodie friend who might let you borrow one for a weekend. I love my 21 quart pot. Big but manageable.
  • Cutting board/Chef’s Knife
  • Ladle
  • Cheese Cloth or Fine Strainer – I use a paint straining bag from the hardware store. I can place it into a pitcher and ladle the stock into it.
  • Large Storage Container
  • Gallon Sized Ziplock Bags
  • Permanent Marker

Ingredients:

  • 2T of a Sauté Worthy Fat (Coconut Oil, Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, etc)
  • 2 lbs Organic Carrots – Chopped up chunky
  • 2 Organic Onion – Peeled and chopped in quarters
  • 2 lbs Organic Celery Stalks – Chopped up chunky
  • 1 Organic Leek (optional) – Sliced in chunks
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic – Cut in half
  • 1T Sea Salt
  • 1T Whole Peppercorns
  • Sprigs of Fresh Thyme and/or Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Organic Tamari (Optional, but highly recommended – it really adds to the depth of the stock and the color)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 Gallons of Cold Water
  • Optional: Any other veggie bits or scraps you may have around. This is a great way to purge those veggie drawers!

Instructions:

  1. Heat the fat in the large stock pot. Toss in the onions and lightly sauté.
  2. Put in the carrots, celery, garlic, leek, salt, and peppercorns in the pot and cover with the cold water. (Add your optional veggie bits and scraps here too.)
  3. Add in the Liquid Aminos, parsley/thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  4. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 2-3 hours.
  6. Turn the heat off and leave in the pot to cool slightly.
  7. Using your strainer and your storage container, ladle the stock into the strainer in batches, resulting in having strained stock in the storage container.
  8. Place storage container in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  9. The next day: Using a permanent marker, label your Ziplock bags: VEGGIE STOCK and the date and how much you are measuring into each bag.
  10. I recommend measuring out 1 to 1.5 quarts of veggie stock per gallon Ziplock.
  11. Be sure to check those Ziplock tops for a good seal before placing the bags flat on top of each other to store in the freezer.
  12. The stock will keep in the freezer for several months.

IMG_7845

Not too challenging, right!? You can do this and your house will smell amazing as it simmers along.

My stock hadn’t even cooled before I had it working away in this beautiful Simple Squash Soup. Check out tomorrow’s blog post for the recipe, it is divine and makes a perfect starter for all your holiday gatherings.

IMG_7857

 

Rather use Chicken Stock? That’s great… link here for a recipe!

Weekly Tip: Make Your Own Chicken Stock

Stock Pot

Today is the first of three weekly tip posts regarding making your own stock. Today we’ll cover chicken, to be followed by veggie stock and finally beef stock.

Let us start with some culinary terminology to get everyone on the same page – broth and stock. Most of us hear them and use them interchangeably, which is totally fine by me. But culinary experts all have their own definitions and the differences seem to fall into one of these two camps: Camp One: Stock is made with bones (usually roasted prior to stock-making), and broth is made with meat. Camp Two: Stock is the liquid before salt and seasonings are added (think of it as a foundation for something like a soup or a sauce) and broth is seasoned and can be enjoyed as is. So pick which camp you’d like to be in and use the correct definition as make sense for your life! Around here I just call them all stock until I’ll finished them and served them to people. Then I say, “come enjoy this steaming hot bowl of brothy goodness, my little sick chickadee.” Or something like that.

Making your own stock is:

  1. Really, really, REALLY easy.
  2. Much higher quality than you can buy in the store.
  3. Much cheaper than buying it in a store.
  4. Delicious and is packed with nutrients!

I am often asked what I always have available for last-minute meals, and ziplock bags of frozen stock in my freezer would be on the top of my list. I can defrost it and have a soup ready to eat in less than an hour. I can use it to add nutrients to quinoa, rice or couscous by substituting it for the water during cooking. I can throw it in the crock pot (sometimes still frozen!!) with a bunch of stuff and come home to dinner ready five hours later. I can defrost some for my family when they are under the weather and be confident that they are taking in high quality nutrients and not a lot of man-made chemicals found in canned or boxed brothy soups.

SIMPLE CHICKEN STOCK
Equipment Needed:

  • Stock Pot – The bigger the better, so you can get more stock out of all the effort. Crock Pots will work, but most won’t hold much liquid after putting a whole chicken in it. Consider investing in a large stock pot or find a foodie friend who might let you borrow one for a weekend. I love my 21 quart pot. Big but manageable.
  • Cutting board/Chef’s Knife
  • Ladle
  • Cheese Cloth or Fine Strainer – I use a paint straining bag from the hardware store. I can place it into a pitcher and ladle the stock into it.
  • Large Storage Container
  • Gallon Sized Ziplock Bags
  • Permanent Marker

Ingredients:

  • Whole Uncooked Organic Chicken OR an Organic Roasted Chicken with the meat mostly removed (and enjoyed some other way).
  • 1 Big Organic Carrot – Chopped up chunky
  • 1 Organic Onion – Peeled and chopped in half
  • 2-4 Organic Celery Stalks – Chopped up chunky
  • 1 Organic Leek (optional) – Sliced in half
  • 5-10 Cloves of Garlic – Cut in half
  • 2-3t Sea Salt
  • 1T Whole Peppercorns
  • Sprigs of Fresh Thyme or Parsley
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 Gallons of Cold Water

Instructions:

  1. Put the chicken in the pot and cover with the cold water. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  2. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Using the ladle, skim the foaming impurities off the top of the stock and throw away.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 3-5 hours.
  5. Turn the heat off and leave in the pot to cool slightly.
  6. Take out the chicken and place in a large casserole dish to cool. Then pick all the chicken meat off the bones and store in the refrigerator for all your shredded chicken needs. (Chicken soup, chicken salad, chicken pizza, chicken enchiladas, etc.)
  7. Using your strainer and your storage container, ladle the stock into the strainer in batches, resulting in having strained stock in the storage container.
  8. Place storage container in the refrigerator.
  9. Sometime in the next few days, discard the layer of fat that has hardened on the surface of the stock. (I like to keep a little of it in the stock for flavor, but not so much that it will be oily.)
  10. Using a permanent marker, label your Ziplock bags: CHICKEN STOCK and the date and how much you are measuring into each bag.
  11. I recommend measuring out 1 to 1.5 quarts of chicken stock per gallon Ziplock.
  12. Be sure to check those Ziplock tops for a good seal before placing the bags flat on top of each other to store in the freezer.
  13. The stock will keep in the freezer for several months.

Stock Container  This is what I store mine in to cool completely in the refrigerator. I made about seven quarts with this batch, and used a bunch right away and kept a quart in a mason jar in the refrigerator (for my sick chickadee).

Bagged Stock  You can store stock in freezer safe mason jars, but I don’t have the space or the comfort with that much glass in my freezer, so this option works better for me.

That’s all there is to it! I spend over $3.50 a quart on organic chicken stock from the store. This recipe makes 6-8 quarts ($21-28 worth) and cost me less than $15 to make. I buy my whole organic chickens from Costco, usually they cost about $12-13 each. In addition to the stock, I have several cups of shredded meat I use all week long in different quick meals.

Hope this takes some of the mystery out of chicken stock. Try it once to see if it is for you and your real food adventures! Your soup has never tasted so good, as with a beautiful foundation of nutrient-rich homemade stock.

Ready to turn this stock into some Brothy Goodness? Check out this post for the easiest soup ever that I load my family up on when we are fighting classroom plagues. It has super powers if you use your homemade stock as the base. :)

IMG_7822

Easy Peasy Chicken Soup AKA Simple Brothy Goodness

IMG_7820

Here it is. The soup you make when you are under the weather or heading that way. Or when you need simplicity, comfort and nutrients pronto. This recipe is SUPER easy if you already have your chicken stock on hand in the freezer ready to go. Check out the post on Making Your Own Chicken Stock to get started – it is also SUPER easy, but does take a few hours to simmer.

Around our house, we call this one: Simple Brothy Goodness

Recipe: Easy Peasy Chicken Soup AKA Simple Brothy Goodness

Ingredients

  • 1 Quart Organic Chicken Stock – homemade preferred (RECIPE)
  • 2-3 Big Handfuls of Organic Baby Spinach
  • 1 Cup Shredded Organic Chicken (leftovers from stock making work great here!)
  • High Quality Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Optional: Thinly Sliced Ginger, Cooked Spinach and Cheese Ravioli, Cooked Rice (brown or rice)

Toppers

  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Parsley, Cilantro, Green Onions or Chives (whichever sounds best)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Warm stock in a saucepan on the stove top at medium heat.
  2. Add in spinach, chicken and the optional ginger, ravioli, or rice if using.
  3. Simmer for five minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chicken Soup usually takes a decent amount of salt to make it really sparkle. Do a little at a time until it is just as you like it.
  5. Add toppers and enjoy!

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 6 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2-4

Soup with rav Adding in the ravioli make this soup a big favorite with my daughter. She slurps the whole bowl right on up and asks for more. My son loves the ginger slices. Mix it up and make it your own Simple Brothy Goodness!