Thursday 8 December 2016

Bean & Kale Soup

Dorcas Barry

Published 08/01/2012 | 06:00

Green leafy vegetables supply superior nutrition to our bodies, particularly when they are locally grown to ensure maximum freshness and nutrient content.

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Sprouted seeds are available now in supermarkets as well as speciality shops, and are great to keep in the fridge to boost the nutrient content of soups, salads and sandwiches.

If you are so inclined, look into sprouting your own seeds. They are cheap to buy and easy to do, and you will then have your own constant superfood supply to use daily.

Serves four

you will need

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes

2 sticks celery, washed and chopped into cubes

2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

1½ tsp smoked pimenton

1 tsp harissa (I like Belazu Rose Harissa best)

400g tin cannellini beans, rinsed

750ml vegetable stock

1 stalk kombu (optional)

6-8 stalks curly kale

Salt & pepper

Sprouted seeds, to serve (optional)

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion, carrots and celery. Allow to sauté gently over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until softened.

Add the sliced garlic and stir, allowing to cook for a moment before adding the smoked pimenton and harissa, and keep stirring to combine the spices.

Add the beans and pour in the vegetable stock, allowing the soup to cook for at least 30 minutes, giving the flavours time to combine and the beans to soften.

It's a great idea when cooking with beans to include a stalk of dried kombu seaweed (available from delis and healthfood shops), which helps to soften the beans but also boosts the mineral content of any dish.

If you include it, remove from the soup before serving.

Wash the kale well and cut out the stalks. Chop both the stalks and the leaves and add the stalks to the soup, as they will take longer to cook.

Add the chopped kale leaves to the soup five minutes before serving to ensure they are not overcooked and remain bright green in colour.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with sprouted seeds.

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