Tasty Tuesday: December 6, 2011 Kale and White Bean Soup

A light and bright soup for a dreary fall or winter day, this soup is full of “super foods”:  garlic, ginger, kale, beans, shitake mushrooms.  A boost to the spirit and to the immune system.



6 dried shitake mushrooms

6 cups water

2 Tbsp peanut oil (unrefined)

1 large yellow onion, finely diced

3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced

1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger root

3 carrots, diced

4 cups chopped kale or collard greens (I used Lacinato kale in today’s soup)

2 cups cooked cannellini beans (most economical is to use dried, see instructions below; canned are OK too — please drain and rinse well)

1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)


Apple cider vinegar

Toasted sesame oil



1.  Place dried mushrooms in a medium pot with the 6 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.

2.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cheesecloth, reserving liquid.  Remove reconstituted mushrooms, squeezing out the excess liquid into the broth, and cut them into thin slices, removing and tough stems.

3.  In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil, then saute the onion, garlic and ginger for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft.  Do not let it burn or brown.

4.  Add the carrots and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes.

5.  Add the greens, and mix well.  If you are using collard greens, you will want to cook them for at least 8 minutes here, until they turn bright green and begin to soften.  The kale will only take 3 to 5 minutes.

6.  Add the beans and mirin rice wine.  Stir to incorporate.

7.  Pour broth over your vegetables, add mushrooms, add a Tbsp of tamari and a Tbsp of apple cider vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes.

Season to taste with tamari/soy/Bragg’s and toasted sesame oil.  Enjoy!

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