Winter Soup

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I made soup by myself for the first time about two years ago.  It was a magical experience, let me tell you.  No for real though, I was so proud of myself because somehow I had built it up in my mind that soup was really hard to make.  It’s not, it just involves a lot of mixing and tasting and waiting.  “Winter Soup” is the name I just made up for a soup that I always make in the winter (though I guess I really only make soup in the winter…).  It varies every time I make it but it always includes kale, sweet potato, and some kind of beans.  As with most of the things I make, feel free to substitute whatever you want.  I find this soup has a nice balance of flavor though: the kale adds an interesting texture, and the sweetness of the sweet potato adds a nice contrast to the other flavors in the soup.  Also, a note: I made waaaay too much and it didn’t all fit in one pot.  I’m going to write this recipe using the ingredient amounts that I used, but you may want to cut these amounts in half if you don’t have the appetite of a 400 pound man like I do.

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WINTER SOUP

(makes 10 servings)

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (you can buy this pre-made at most stores; add more or less depending on how thick you want your soup)
  • 3 cups mirepoix (this is just a mix of chopped celery, onion, and carrots used as a soup starter–chop about 1 cup of each into pretty small pieces, or do what I did and buy it pre-packaged at Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 3 12 oz cans of white beans, drained–I used 2 cans of cannellini beans and one can of navy beans
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz package sliced mushrooms
  • Spices, to taste: I used oregano, herbes de provence, marjoram, salt, and garlic powder, all in very liberal amounts

Directions

1.) Heat oil on medium high heat.  Add in mirepoix and saute until onions begin to become translucent (about 3-5 minutes).

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2.) Add in broth.  Once broth begins to heat up, add in sweet potato and kale.  Cover and allow to simmer on medium high heat for about 20 minutes.

3.) Add in tomato, beans, and seasonings, cover and simmer on medium heat for another 20 minutes. Don’t worry if you don’t have the seasonings I used–use whatever you have on hand, as long as it tastes good to you.

4.) Add in mushrooms, and more seasoning if needed.  Continue to simmer on medium low heat until the sweet potatoes reach desired level of softness, about 30 minutes.

And that’s it!  Now you have a tasty, hearty dish that will feed you through the week.  This soup also goes really well with a nice piece of fresh bakery bread (I’ll take any excuse to buy fancy bread).  Bon appetit!

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