Monday, November 28, 2011

Lemony White Bean and Kale Soup

I haven’t been posting many recipes lately so I thought I should get one on the blog today. Here is the soup that I made for dinner on Saturday.

Lemony White Bean and Kale Soup
Serves 6 – as an entrée


2 cups dried great northern beans
8 ½ cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced (or substitute ¾ tablespoon dried)
approximately ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you want)
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
no-salt seasoning to taste (I used about ½ tablespoon)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ - ¾ cups whole grain soup pasta (I used ½ cup of pasta)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bunch kale, finely shredded (approximately 6 cups shredded)
2 lemons, zested and juiced


Combine the sorted and rinsed dried beans with the water and bay leaves. Pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to reduce naturally then add the rosemary, crushed red pepper, red onion, no-salt seasoning and cook until the onion is soft. Now add the pasta and garlic to the soup and cook until the pasta is al dente (mine took 8 minutes). You may need to add more water to the pot before you add the pasta depending on how much evaporated. Turn off the heat and add the kale and stir it into the soup. Add the lemon zest and juice to each serving.


Now that the obligatory recipe is out the way let me fill you in on what we have been up to lately. Friday morning started with a quick trip to Tuesday Morning to pick up a space heater for Dan’s man cave, otherwise known as his third floor home office. We don’t normally venture out on Black Friday but a very similar heater to the one we bought for the boat was on sale for 60% of list price so we had to go pick it up.

While we were there a 5 cup rice cooker happened to jump into the cart on us. I picked it up for the boat to facilitate cooking when we are there. As soon as we got home I made some quinoa in the rice cooker to test it out and all systems were a go. Rice cookers can be used to cook not only rice but quinoa, bulgur, millet, steel cut oats, soup or to steam veggies. Not bad for such a compact appliance I thought.

We ended up having a salad for breakfast. I know that is a bit unorthodox but it is filling and nutrient dense so why not?

After a few other errands (which included new glasses for me which I will show up as soon as I get a picture that I like) we stopped to see Ian and the gang for lunch. Fortunately we had made reservations because there were still people waiting to be seated at 2pm. According to Ian to say lunch was busy was an understatement.

Janine knows us well so she started us a pot of green tea before she asked what we wanted to drink. The only question was hot or cold tea not what beverage. Are we predictable or what? ;-)

We ordered a cup and bowl of black bean and tomato soup which I know from experience is always vegan here, and it was. This is my cup of soup.

We had a big salad for breakfast (yes we do often eat salad for breakfast) so we weren’t terribly hungry after the soup. We asked the guys to make us a salad of mixed greens, fruit (they used grapefruit, orange, granny smith apple and pear), drizzle with balsamic glaze and finish with nuts (they used walnuts). Dan and I split this and we were completely content.

Next we went to the marina to get started winterizing the boat. I was nothing more than moral support during this process. I made us hot tea, took pictures of the beautiful day, made notes in the boat maintenance log and changed the music CDs. Dan knows from experience that I am anti-mechanical so he only lets me hand him tools.

By the time we arrived at home it was late (almost 10pm) and I was ravenous. Since there wasn’t much cooked in the refrigerator I decided to make us salad for dinner. This is my idea of fast food which took me literally less than 5 minutes. This salad included: arugula, baby spinach, cooked quinoa from the frig, salsa, marinated mushrooms, roasted peppers and onions from the frig, avocado and no-salt seasoning. Simple, easy, tasty and ready to eat in mere minutes. These are the sorts of things I make when I am ravenous and don’t have much in the way of intentional leftovers.

Happy Thoughts:

I have had a few people ask me why I include the happy thoughts section on the blog and the reason is very simple. It is too easy to focus on the guy who cut you off in traffic, the rude person in the store, or things that are going wrong. However if we focus on the positive things that happen every day it reminds us that life isn’t all bad. I hope by reading my happy thoughts it reminds you to reflect on what went right in your life.

• The weather this weekend was been nothing short of magnificent. Friday we reached 72 degrees and people were eating outside. Saturday and Sunday it was also over 70 degrees. How often does that happen after Thanksgiving?

• My father is healing nicely and now feels comfortable going up and down steps though I am trying to encourage him not to do that much. But he is a man so I am sure you can imagine what has been happening. ;-)

• We were able to get the first Christmas tree up and lit.  This 9 foot spiral topiary tree is old but I still love it. It still needs to be decorated but since the lights take the longest I feel like we made good progress.

• It took three long days to winterize the sailboat but that is done now. Needless to say we are both relieved to have that crossed off our list. It is always good to have one last thing to worry about.

• While we weren’t able to cross off everything on our to-do list we did knock off the critical items. The remaining items can wait until next weekend or beyond.

Signing out:

After a day on the liquid diet I am looking forward to the end of today. If you have time please keep us in your thoughts tomorrow morning. We both appreciate all the prayers, love, light or anything else positive you believe in. I will be back as soon as I can but probably not before this coming weekend. Talk with you again soon. *fingers crossed*


  1. Prayers coming your way:) Coco

  2. Ali are you doing ok? Haven't seen a post from you in awhile!

  3. Coco,

    Thank you so much for thinking of us. It was a rough month but things are definitely returning to normal now. It feels good to getting back to my routine.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. Dr. Cat,

    Thank you for your concern. Surgery was fine but recovery was a little tougher than expected. Once the wild temperature fluctuations abated things began to improve quickly. I did relearn why I always tried to avoid the ED (emergency dept) when I worked in hospitals during this adventure. They are much less pleasant as a patient, in case you were wondering. However things are all good now and that is what really matters. :-)

    Happy Holidays!


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