This should actually be called the ‘No Fuss Vegetable Soup’ or ‘A Very Good Vegetable Soup’. I threw this together on my return from vacation back in June. If you remember I went to Catalina with family for a few days. Once home it was back to the kitchen to cook and I couldn’t have been happier. I love vacationing but I also love being in the kitchen cooking my own meals. I grabbed whatever produce that survived my short week away and made this easy as can be soup. There were the basics…onion, celery, carrots and a bunch of kale. All of which have a good shelf life. I put it all together with some pantry staples like white beans & quinoa for protein and threw in a can of diced tomatoes to make it even heartier. For the herbs & spices I used herbes de provence, a pinch of red pepper flakes and some lavender I had from this Lavender Chai Tea – Concentrate as an extra bonus. I shared a sneak peak on Instagram that day and meant to have it here a bit sooner. Since then I’ve made it a couple of times and have yet to tire of it. Today I finally share with you this flavorful, super easy, budget friendly soup that will make plenty of leftovers. There’s plenty of wins here and so much to love!
Let’s start with a few pantry staples. These are always good to have on hand. They are versatile, cheap, accessible and will come in handy in times of need. From what I’ve seen canned beans can range anywhere from $.99 cents to $1.99 in some stores. The tomatoes will run you about the same. Keep your pantry lined with a few cans of your favorite beans and diced tomatoes. Bulk up when they’re on sale if you can. If you have time to make your beans from scratch you’ll save even more!
The kale can be either packaged or straight from the farmer’s market. My first batch of this soup included a small bunch of lacinato kale that I de-stemmed and chopped. Here I chose to use a packaged baby kale. Either one works and will run you about the same dollar wise. I’ve seen bunches of kale for as low as $.99 cents and as high as $1.99. This package cost me $1.99. Some packaged kale may cost a bit more, shop accordingly.
The produce, spices and quinoa are pretty much basic and all staples in my home. The produce is typically hearty and will stay fresh for a week or two, at least if stored properly. I’ve actually had carrots in my fridge for up to month or so and they were still fine for eating. (I should mention that I do include garlic in the recipe but it’s not shown above.)
I used herbes de provence here but you can sub in thyme if you like. Red pepper flakes for me but if you don’t like a little heat, omit it. Lavender is optional but a nice addition!
The quinoa can be any color you prefer and is a welcome ingredient to this soup adding more texture and substance.
I use and recommend Better Than Bouillon for your vegetable broth base. It’s convenient, you only use what you need when you need it so nothing goes to waste, it stays well in the fridge and will really add a nice robust flavor to your soups. I never use the amount called for either. I use about 1 teaspoon for every 4 cups instead of the called for 1 teaspoon per cup. Anymore than that and it’s too salty for my taste, and in return it lasts me a little longer. For this recipe I only used about 1 1/2 teaspoons. You can play with the amounts and see what works best for your taste. You may even prefer to just use plain water.
This is a one pot soup making it even easier on you. Less dishes equals less mess which is a definite plus around my home and I’m sure you feel the same way too.
Soup will be ready in under an hour from start to finish. Then you have yourself a big batch of hearty goodness that will feed a family of four and didn’t break the bank.
Serve with your favorite crusty bread to help soak up some of the juices. Adding a squeeze of lemon will brighten the flavor and a light dusting of almond parmesan will go a long way. I love a good soup and this one is another keeper!
KALE, QUINOA + WHITE BEAN SOUP
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped (leaves ok too)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de provence or thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon lavender, optional
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 cup dried quinoa
- 2 cans (15 oz.) white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices (fired roasted pref.)
- 7 – 8 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 package (5 oz.) baby kale or 1 small bunch*
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
In a large pot or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add in garlic, celery, carrots and herbs/spices, cook another 2 minutes or so. Add in the quinoa, beans, tomatoes and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Add in kale and keep on low heat, stirring occasionally, until kale wilts (baby kale will wilt faster than a typical bunch of kale).
Serve with crusty bread and a light dusting of almond parmesan.
Serves 4 – 6.
*If using a bunch of kale, remove the center stem and juilenne or roughly chop the leaves.
Use cannellini, great northern, navy beans or chickpeas. If using freshly made beans from scratch, use about 3 – 3 1/2 cups.