After days of indulgences over the Thanksgiving break, I wanted to nourish my body with tons of veggies, but a cold salad or a smoothie wasn’t going to cut it, as the temperatures were dropping. I did my usual Farmer’s Market visit and decided that a soup would be perfect.
But I wanted to make a soup that would be satisfying, hearty, and really make my tastebuds do a happy dance. Plus, I knew that I would have to make it good enough that the meat eaters in my crew wouldn’t feel like I was giving them “diet” food.
So, I decided to make an Italian Veggie Soup that would effortlessly up the veggie intake abd combine the heartiness of potatoes and cannellini beans with the gentle sweetness of carrots and leeks. The addition of kale not only brings a vibrant color but also infuses each spoonful with a nutritional boost. The secret to make it feel rich and indulgent was throwing in some parmesan rinds and using real butter. Cue dancing tastebuds!
- 4 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 3 leeks (sliced white parts only)
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 4 parmesan rinds
- 2 cups chopped Lacinato kale (ribs removed)
- Optional: Grated Gruyere cheese, olive oil, lemon wedge for serving
- Optional: Leftover turkey or chicken for a heartier version
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and sauté until they become soft and translucent.
- Stir in the diced potatoes and carrots. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Mix in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, ensuring not to burn the garlic.
- Add the Italian seasoning, salt, and cannellini beans to the pot. Stir well to combine.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes, using their juice to deglaze the pot and loosen any bits stuck to the bottom.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and add the parmesan rinds. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove the parmesan rinds. Add the chopped kale to the soup and turn off the heat. Stir until the kale wilts. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. If desired, top with grated Gruyere cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, or a squeeze of lemon wedge. For a heartier soup, add a handful of leftover turkey or chicken to the bowl before pouring the soup.
This recipe should make approximately 6 to 8 servings. The amount can vary slightly depending on the serving size. If used as a main course, it might serve closer to 6 people, while as a starter or side, it could serve up to 8. Each serving is between 200 – 250 calories, the beans and cheese offer about 10 grams of protein (more if you add chicken or turkey), and is packed with vitamin A & C, iron, and calcium!