Monday, November 5, 2012

Smoky Bean Soup

A week with no blogging events feels a little empty after October's crazy-busy activity, but at least we have Meatless Monday. I'm going to be leaning more heavily into soups for a while. As the weather gets colder, and the days get shorter (or at least feel that way), there's nothing better than a comforting bowl of soup by the fire, is there?

This soup comes together pretty quickly. I sort of invented it the other night after getting home from a movie and wanting some good, simple, real (not movie snacks) food.  It has some nice layers of flavor, a little spice, and a nice smokiness that might remind you of bacon. We liked it so much for dinner, we had some of the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. That's another great thing about soup - a big pot full can last for days.

"Always start with a larger pot than you think you'll need."
~Julia Child~

Smoky Bean Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
2-3 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2-3 T fresh basil, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth (1 - 32 oz. box)
1 can diced tomatoes with their juice
2 cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 T miso paste, mixed with a little water
2 T tamari
1 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 cups fresh kale, chopped

Cover the bottom of your soup pot with water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, and toss in the onion, celery, and garlic. Steam-fry 2-3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, thyme, and basil, and cook 2-3 minutes more.

Add all remaining ingredients, except the kale, and bring to a near-boil. Always be careful not to boil miso, as it will kill the enzymes.

Add the kale and cook over medium-low heat until the greens are wilted but still bright green, about 5-10 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine by the fire.

Variations - Use spinach instead of kale. Try different types of beans. Add more vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, and red bell peppers. Add some pasta, for an even heartier soup.