This Butterbean and Kale soup is one of those cozy-by-the-fire, snuggled-up-with-a-puppy soups. It's not a fast cooking soup, nor should it be. It demands you to hover near by, book in hand, or an inky glass of malbec, just relishing in the day. The longer it simmers, the more love that gets worked into it--which is what makes this soup pretty much perfect in my opinion.
Since I don't do well with following recipes, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do well with writing one. But I shall try! All of these quantities can vary depending on your spice tolerance, preferred vegetables, or allergies. It's just a soup, so you can't really mess it up too much! Just give it patience, time, and go relax.
- Three heads of garlic
- Fresh herbs--my favorites are lots of dill, rosemary, and sage.
- Dried red peppers. If a parrot named Pickle picks them, they're good.
- Enough olive oil to fill the bottom of a soup pan in a thin layer.
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- White vinegar
- One carrot
- A bunch of Kale or collard greens.
- Two cans of butterbeans, washed off.
- Nutritional yeast.
In a large soup pot--copper pots are a really pretty thing to look at all day while they boil, especially after a few glasses of wine--add a thin layer of olive oil to coat the bottom fully. Heat slowly. Peel two heads of garlic, keeping cloves whole and slightly crush with side of knife on the cutting board. Toss in a few dried red peppers in olive oil, then add in garlic cloves. Stir occasionally until peppers and garlic is lightly browned, starting to fry. Turn off heat and remove from burner to keep oil from popping everywhere. Once it's cool enough, add water to about an inch under the edge of the pot. Add two or three small spoon fulls of sea salt, black pepper, and your favorite herbs. With the remaining head of garlic, carefully cut in half horizontally, keeping skin on. Place the whole garlic into the pot, bringing back to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer after it boils for a few minutes, placing cover on the soup pot. Walk away and go do something wonderful for like four hours, commenting on how glorious the house smells and feeling like the sorceress you are while you stare into the oily depths of herbs and garlic.
After a few hours have passed and you're now completely drooling over the cauldron of deliciousness, chop up the leek, onion, carrot, plus any other hardier vegetables you may want to add. Add to the broth, topping off with a splash of white vinegar and a bit more water if needed. Sprinkle in nutritional yeast and stir. Let cook for about another half hour. Drain and wash butterbeans, adding in. After about five minutes or so, add in thinly torn greens, bringing back to a simmer. Cook until they're fully wilted, tasting the broth and adding more salt, black pepper, or vinegar if needed. I like to keep all the bits like the herb stalks and full garlic head in the soup, but you can scoop out if wanted. Keep the half garlic head though and spread on toast, or even just eat it plain.
Enjoy by candlelight in a clean bathrobe, while listening to Enya and a squawking parrot.
Special thanks to Bon Appetit for the original garlic broth inspiration!