Thursday, January 24, 2013

Healthy Recipe: White Bean Soup

This recipe has been in my drafts since 2010. It was in a Healthy Living company newsletter.
Simple and nutritious, this hearty soup is incredibly rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that will fill you up without filling you out.
Doesn't that sound perfect? I've been wanting to try it ever since but never seemed to have the ingredients on hand (namely, the kale). Since I've resolved to try 2 new recipes a month in 2013, I figured this week was the perfect time. I added kale to my shopping list and was very excited to give it a try.

It was a complete disaster! Even though it didn't turn out seriously, it was so bad that we ended up eating pizza for dinner instead. 
I figured I'd still share the recipe.

But before I do, let me share what I did wrong. I tried to make it in the slow cooker. I'm not a slow cooker queen (yet!), and I don't think this recipe is good for converting. What was I thinking? From the recipe, it doesn't seem like it would've taken that long to make after work, so I should have just stuck to the recipe. But the idea of coming home to a wonderful smells won out. Unfortunately, I came home to smells that made me gag a little. Basically, this got waaaaayyyyy over-cooked.  The noodles were complete mush. The smell was overbearing.

All right, here's the recipe. If you make it, please let me know.

White Bean Soup
Yield: 6 servings

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups kale leaves, cut into bite-size pieces (remove the thick stems)
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½-2 tsp. dried oregano, to taste
  • 4 cans (15 oz. each) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ cups rotini pasta noodles, preferably whole wheat
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

In a large soup pot set over medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the kale and sauté it another minute. Add the beans, the chicken broth and the oregano. Bring the soup to a boil. Add the rotini and cook it, covered, until they are tender. (Check package instructions for time).

Nutritional information:
Calories: 325 | Fat: 6 g | Carbohydrates: 55 g | Protein: 18 g | Fiber: 10 g | Sodium: 741 mg

Even though we couldn't eat this, I couldn't stomach it being a complete waste of food/money, so I drained the broth and threw out the mushy, gross kale/beans/pasta. I'm hoping to use the broth as a base for another soup or dish. Am I crazy? Is this a bad idea?

What's your most disastrous slow cooker experience? I didn't think I'd be able to screw up a soup, but well, I did. :-)

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