Sunday, January 13, 2013

White Bean and Beet Greens Tomato Soup, in the crockpot

I know it feels a bit whiny to say that from sunny California, where the sun shines 345 days of the year and the temperatures rarely drop below the forties, but it has been COLD!
Even though I haven't posted a whole lot of warm meal recipes on here, I have been making a ton of soups during fall and winter. They are nothing exceptional, which is probably why I haven't really posted them, but we love them in my family, and that's one sure way I can feed my kids vegetables, as long as it is blended.
As I said in my last post, I am doing this 28 day challenge of eating only real whole foods, in the right quantities and proportions, and the friend who inspired me to do it asked me for recipes of warm foods. There are a ton of recipes on this blog that are 28toGreat friendly, but very few that are winter comfort foods.
I wrote this one about 8 months ago, but it was spring then, and I didn't think people would crave a bowl of hot soup in the California 80 degrees weather.

One thing you might learn from this recipe is that there are foods out there you didn't even know where foods. Such as... beet greens! Did you know that when you buy that bunch of beets at the farmer's market or at Whole Foods or Sprouts, you don't need to toss the stems out or feed them to your pet rabbit?   They are perfectly edible if you cook them (don't try them raw in your smoothie, they will tast bitter!) and taste delicious simply sauteed in olive or coconut oil, garlic and salt. Or in a soup. Such as this one:

This soup is easy to make, whether you stir it in a pot on your stove, or let it simmer in your crockpot. I love my crockpot, it's a lifesaver for those work days when I don't come home until 9 or 10pm and I need my family to have a hot meal for dinner, or for the weekend, when we are out and about all day.

2 cups of dry white beans, soaked all night (or a can of cannellini beans)
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, sliced

6 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 big can (16oz) of organic diced tomatoes, or the equivalent of freshed diced tomatoes
1 liter of chicken broth
a bunch of beet greens (from 3 beets) or other leafy greens, such as kale or swiss chard, washed and chopped
dried oregano, rosemary, parsley, basil, whatever you want to play with. You can also add these herbs fresh if you have them in your garden or fridge. I love fresh basil and parsley and I add them one hour before serving.
Salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in the crockpot, with the beans, then onions and garlic, then crunchy veggies, tomatoes, cover with broth, and greens on top. Sprinkle with herbs. Cook on slow for 8 hours or on fast for 5-6 hours.

Serve with brown rice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional) for a complete meal.

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