Beans and Greens and Grains Soup
No big secret that Ali and I love kale. We met over a kale chip recipe and I can’t prepare this vegetable without thinking of her.
Ali also created a brilliant guide to all kinds of grains you can find in the bulk aisle at the store. This recipe includes both kale and those bulk grains as well as a little nod to a great food access program in my hometown.
The “Beans and Greens” program is available here locally for six farmers markets
. Basically, any food stamp card purchases of fresh, healthy produce are doubled. So, five dollars will buy a food stamp recipient TEN dollars in healthy food.
This special soup recipe was created to be a complete meal in a bowl. The chicken sausage is optional, but a nice addition to the protein from the beans and grains. Kale and leeks are spring vegetables that should be making an appearance very soon (I hope), because I am ready for spring. So ready.
Beans and Greens Soup
2 leeks, white parts and light green, cleaned and diced (or a small onion)
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
1 tbs. olive oil
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 cup whole grains such as whole wheat, barley, whole oats or brown rice
(Kashi’s pilaf is also a great grain blend for this)
12 oz. cooked mild chicken sausages, sliced
1 lb. frozen black eyed peas, (see below for canned or dried options)
10 cups chicken broth
1 large parmesan rind
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot with a lid. Add the leeks or onion and the carrots. Place the lid on and sweat the veggies for 10-15 minutes to begin to release the flavors.
Add the whole grains and the broth. Bring to a boil. Add the kale and sausage, parmesan rinds, frozen beans. When this returns to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and simmer for 50 minutes, or until grain is cooked al dente. Remove the rind. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For dried beans, soak the beans overnight first. Sweat the veggies as above, add the dried beans and 12 cups of stock. Cook for 1.5 hours until beans are just becoming tender. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe. For canned beans, rinse and drain 2 cans of beans. Add these for the last 20 minutes of simmering.