- Difficulty 3
- Prep Time 20 mins
- Cook Time 40 mins
- Serves 4
You know that shelf full of beans, broth and seasonings you have? Head over there to make this pantry-friendly soup. And don’t forget to stop by the fridge for a key flavour booster: your favourite lager. Serve this soup as a light meal with a crusty loaf, or as a starter for a big menu. Toppings — such as grated Parmesan, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, or a drizzle of chili oil or olive oil — are always welcome.
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) lager
- 4 cups (1 L) sodium-reduced vegetable broth (see tips)
- 1 cup water
- 2 540 mL cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp/2.5 mL dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese (about 30 g)
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
- 2 cups (500 mL) finely shredded stemmed kale (about 3 large stalks)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
- 1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes.
- 2. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add lager, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost no liquid remains, 1 to 2 minutes.
- 3. Add broth, water, beans, 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- 4. Stir in Parmesan, remaining 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt and the pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until about half of the soup is puréed, 15 to 30 seconds (see tips).
- 5. Bring soup back to a simmer. Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted but still bright green, about 2 minutes.
- 6. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve warm. Soup will keep in a tightly sealed airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you’re planning to freeze the soup, don’t add kale and lemon juice until after the soup has been thawed and reheated.
- This soup only requires a few ingredients, so it’s important to use a good vegetable broth, because the flavour will really come through. Try an organic, sodium-reduced variety — or homemade, if you have it.
- You can also purée the soup in a countertop blender. Simply pour in the soup, making sure the blender jug is no more than half-full (to allow expansion during blending). Remove the vent in the centre of the lid, place a thick folded towel over the hole and hold it down as you blend. (This keeps the heat from building up and causing the top of the blender to blow off.) Pour the soup back into the pan and continue with recipe.
- Partially puréeing the soup gives it a richer, creamier texture. It’s not necessary, but it’s nice. If you don’t have a blender, you can mash some of the bean mixture with a potato masher. And if you like chunky soups, you don’t have to blend it at all.
- The recipe can be doubled easily and frozen for another day.