My lunches during Veganuary have often featured lovely homemade soups. However, I'm conscious that soup isn't always as protein-packed as it could be, so have been sneaking beans, lentils, quinoa, peas and all sorts of other vegan protein sources into my soups.
This one was particularly delicious - against all the odds. When I was shopping for my Cranks Supperclub in December I thought I had picked up 4 tins of chickpeas. Distracted by a toddler piling chocolate biscuits into the trolley, it turns out I had picked up 4 tins of butter beans instead. Eek! Cue a very last-minute chickpea expedition hours before guests arrived.
All was well, but the tower of butter bean tins have been staring at me ever since. A soggy half-used bag of curly kale looked sorry for itself in the fridge, and voilà - this Curly Kale & Butter Bean Soup was born.
I think of butter beans as being a bit... well... 1980's vegetarian hippy, (sorry), but in fact they are delicious, and I particularly like them blitzed into a soup like this. They turn the soup creamy and velvety, not at all what you expect from a vegan soup. And of course with their high-protein, low-fat credentials paired with the nutrient-rich curly kale superfood, this soup isn't half good for you!
Curly Kale & Butter Bean Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 potato peeled and roughly cubed
- 100 g curly kale tough stalks removed
- 800 g tinned butterbeans drained and rinsed
- 1 litre water
- 4 tsp stock powder
- handful fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leek, onion and garlic. Fry gently for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Add the potato, curly kale and butterbeans, then the water and stock powder. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as required.
- Add the parsley, then blitz with a hand blender or in a high-speed blender, and serve immediately.