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You know those nights when you should have already been thinking about dinner, but it just slipped your mind?  You look at the clock and somehow it’s 30 minutes until you have to run out the door to take your daughter to dance class and you have no idea what to make?  Well, that was my day.  I looked at my menu plan and everything needed to be chopped or cooked longer than I had time for.  So I realized I had two cans of beans in my pantry, some tomatoes and kale from my garden, and always am stocked with onion, garlic, spices and chicken stock.  Done!  This soup took me 20 min to prepare, and that included taking “the making of…” pictures and picking the kale in the garden!

White Bean and Kale Soup

(adapted from All Recipes)

1 medium onion, diced

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 roma tomatoes, diced

6 cups water, divided

2T. chicken base (or vegetarian soup base)

2 large handfuls of kale, chopped

2 cans of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

Start by sautéing a medium sized onion.  When it’s almost done cooking, add the minced garlic.  I use a microplane on my garlic cloves and it’s always so easy and no chunks – thank you Rachael Ray!  Let it cook for a minute and drop in the roma tomatoes.

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Let those cook for a moment while you chop up the kale.

DSC_0796 Add 4 cups of water and the chicken base (alternately, you can just use chicken stock instead of the water/base mix.  I just find that chicken base takes less room to store and is cheaper).

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At this point, I also add parmesan rinds or parmigiano reggiano rinds.  I found these little gems at Earth Fare!

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I think they give it such a deep flavor.  While that heats up, take the other 2 cups of water and mix it with one of the cans of drained, rinsed beans in the blender until smooth.  This just makes the soup a little creamier.  Pour it into the soup and add the second can of beans (whole).  I usually add 2 cans of chick peas too.  But sadly, I didn’t have any in my pantry.

DSC_0808Add 2t. Italian Seasoning to the pot.

DSC_0803 Done!  I always top the soup with freshly grated parmesan.  It really makes it taste like it’s from a fancy restaurant.  Of course, some crusty artisan bread would be a delicious addition if you have some.  This soup is better as it sits, because it lets all the flavors come together.  I think it would be perfect to throw in a crockpot on low in the morning, or to make early in the day and then just bring to temperature at dinnertime…if you happen to be the kind of person to think ahead.  Otherwise, start 30 minutes before you need it and you’re golden!