Beans ‘n Greens Soup
- 2 tbsp water or more as needed, to saute
- 1 ½ cups onion diced
- 2 ½ – 3 cups red or yukon gold potatoes cut in chunks about 1 ½ – 2” thick
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 1 cup carrots diced (or 1 cup red pepper, chopped in small chunks, added later, see note)
- 4-5 medium-large cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ tsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp dried marjoram leaves or dried oregano leaves
- 1 ½ tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg see note
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup brown green lentils, rinsed (see note)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 5 cups water
- 1 tbsp red miso
- 1 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 14/15 oz can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 6-7 cups loosely packed fresh kale leaves, roughly chopped or torn (roughly 1 smallish bunch of kale, can use curly kale or dinosaur kale) (keep fairly large pieces, they will wilt significantly)
In a large pot over medium heat, add the water, onion, potatoes, celery, carrots (if using), garlic, dried herbs and spices, salt, and pepper. Stir through, cover, and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. If veggies are sticking, add another splash of water. Add the lentils, stir through, cover and cook for another few minutes, and then add the vegetable stock, water, miso, molasses, bay leaves and stir through. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for 30- 40 minutes, until the lentils are very soft and fully cooked. (If using the chopped red pepper, add after first 25-30 minutes of cooking lentils, see note). Turn off heat, add the cannellini beans (see note), kale, stir through, cover, and let wilt in soup for about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves to serve, and taste to add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Spice Note: Nutmeg seems an odd addition to this soup, I know. However, it actually works nicely with bitter greens, and adds a subtle flavor to the soup that is very pleasant. Give it a try!
- Red Pepper Note: I add the red pepper a little later, just to preserve a little more of the freshness of the pepper. You can add it earlier if you prefer, or use carrot in place of red pepper – though I prefer the red pepper variation.
- Beans Note: Adding the cannellini beans later in the cooking helps preserve the white color of the beans. You can certainly add them earlier, with the lentils, if you want, but they will absorb the broth and turn a brownish color. Just for visual appeal, I prefer to add them later.
- Savvy Subs and Adds: Mung beans would make a good substitution for the green lentils if you have those handy. You can substitute other greens in place of the kale if you like, such as collard greens, swiss chard, or spinach. If using swiss chard or spinach, you won’t need to cook them through, just stir through for a minute and serve.
See More: Dreena Burton