Happiness is a warm bowl of soup, to paraphrase Linus. Speaking of Linus, I heard on NPR last week (OH NO. Stop me now. Starting sentences with "I heard on NPR..." ranks right up there with, "One time, in band camp...").
So I'm afraid, due to self-censorship, we'll never learn what the story was I heard on NPR, but take heart. I have other ideas.
I love love love soup, and am trying to cut back on salt (how ironic, I know) ever since I learned that excessive sodium intake can interfere with calcium absorption. Sort of a drag, but it just means that I am being driven further from the canned sodium bombs that the grocery store offers.
Speaking of canned soup, want to hear something evil? I thought so. Progresso makes this soup in their vegetable classics line. That's vegetable classics, mind you, not pork-lovers classics. Anyway, the soup is split pea. Sounds good so far, right? Wrong. In teeny, tiny .9 font under the name it says, snarkily, in italics that you need a bionic eye to read, "with bacon".
Thanks a lot, Progresso. Screw you, too.
Hence, I've been making a lot more of my own soups. I know the food blog universe is flooded with kale love this time of year, but I'll add my valentine.
Black Bean and Kale Soup
1 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp thyme
4 c vegetable stock
4 c water
2 bay leaves
10 c kale
1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/4 lemon
Heat oil over medium-high heat in skillet. Add onion, carrot, thyme, and cumin and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until onion is soft. Set aside.
Put 1/2 c of black beans in blender with 2 TB water. Blend until creamy. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring stock,water and bay leaves to a boil in a large stock pot. Add kale, and turn heat down to medium. Cook, with lid on, until kale begins to soften, about 7-9 minutes.
Add onion mixture, beans, and tomatoes with juice to pot. Cook, with lid on, for about 10 minutes. When kale is soft, but still has some bite to it, remove soup from heat. Add bean puree and stir to combine. Remove bay leaves and discard. Add lemon immediately prior to serving. Serve with grated cheese if desired. Serves 6-8.