Monday, August 26, 2013

Creamy Cannellini Bean, Kale and Mini-Meatball Soup

The weekend has come and gone, and we are back to Monday. Mondays has become a soup and salad night for us. Not only does my creamy cannellini, kale and mini-meatball soup help getting over a weekend of over-indulging in too much food and drink, it helps soothe away the very long workday that Monday always seems to bring with it. What I love about this soup is that it is creamy but not to the point of over-indulgence, it's only a 1/2 cup of cream to five cups of soup. It's packed with lots of veggies, like sweet carrots, savory celery, earthy potatoes, creamy cannellini beans, the best source of beta-carotene ... kale, and mini-meatballs. It's a warm, homey meal, that's big on taste and satisfaction.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
3 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 - 151/2 oz can cannellini beans
8-10 sage leaves, tied in a bundle
2 bay leaves
4 cups kale (or your green of choice)
8 oz cooked mini-meatballs (see notes)
4 cups herb and wine infused chicken stock (see notes)
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
1/2 cup of heavy cream or half & half

Heat a soup pot over moderate heat, add the first 5 ingredients, cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the remaining ingredients except for cream, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook covered for 30 minutes. Stir cream in, allow to simmer for 2 minutes just to heat through.

To serve sprinkle with Parmesan or feta, along with a crisp salad or crusty bread. ENJOY!

Recipe notes:
To infuse the chicken stock; add 4 cup of homemade or store bought chicken stock, one cup of dry white wine and a large bouquet garni tied bundle to a pot, bring to a rolling boil and simmer while you chop and saute the vegetables. The bouquet garni can be any fresh herbs you have on hand, I used sage,flat leaf parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
For the mini-meatballs, I like to make 5 pounds of meatballs and freeze them already cooked to have on hand for a quick meal or to add to recipes. I used the recipe featured in my post Cheesy Cheese Stuffed Meatballs, but when it came time to make the mini-meatballs, I omitted the cheese, and made the mini-meatballs about the size of the width of a nickel.

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