Kale and White Bean Soup

Kale and white bean soup
Kale and White Bean Soup

Have you caught up with Kale craze yet? I have been reading about Kale so much in blog world and watching it on TV regularly these days. First time I tried making something with Kale, no one wanted to even try it. I tried few different things and this soup is one dish that we all enjoy very much. I make these kind of hearty soups regularly for V’s and Ishaan’s lunch boxes. Even the little one enjoys few spoonfuls of these soups.

Wiki says – Kale is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms of vegetables.Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.

This soup is derived from white bean vegetable chili that I posted a while ago.

Remove the thick stems of kale and cut into small pieces.
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Chop the vegetables and fry them in little oil.
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Add beans, kale, spices and water or stock. Cook till done.
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Kale and White Bean Soup

A hearty and tasty kale and white bean vegetable soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 1 cup white beans
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tea spn chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tbl spn lemon juice
  • 1/2 tea spn coriander powder
  • 1/2 tea spn cumin powder
  • 1/4 tea spn pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • Salt


  • Soak white bean in water overnight.
  • Remove the thick center stems of kale and chop into small pieces.
  • Heat little oil and add onion, celery, carrots, ginger and fry for few minutes. (I make this directly in pressure cooker).
  • Now add kale and fry for few seconds.
  • Add soaked beans, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt.
  • Pour in water or stock, pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
  • When it is cooled down, add lemon juice, pepper.
  • Serve hot.

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Beans – Butternut Squash soup

bean-butternut squash

Temperatures are dropping here way too quickly. This kind of weather calls for some hot soup. So I thought of posting this recipe which we love so much. I have been cooking with lots of vegetables lately.  This soup is a one pot, wholesome dish in itself. I have prepared this couple of times for potlucks and it is loved by both kids and adults alike. The butternut squash gives a sweet taste to this. This freezes beautifully, so this can be prepared in a big pot and frozen for later use.

1/2 cup beans (I use bean mix which has lot of different beans, barley)
3 cups butternut squash (or pumpkin) pieces
2 cups carrot pieces
1/2 cup onion
2 tea spns chopped ginger
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1/2 tea spn chili flakes
1 finely chopped green chilli
1/2 cup red bellpepper
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup chopped tomatoes
Olive oil
1 tbl spn finely chopped coriander leaves

Soak beans for atleast 4-5hrs.
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In a pan, heat some oil and add chopped green chillies and ginger. Fry for a minute and then add onion, garlic, bellpepper, carrots and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add salt, cumin powder, chilli flakes, tomatoes. Fry for few more minutes.
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Now add beans, butternut squash, stock/water, coriander leaves and cook till vegetables and beans are completely cooked (I do this step in rice cooker or pressure cooker. This can also be done in slow cooker. Just make sure the squash still holds its shape when done).
Serve hot.

Serves : 6-7
Preparation time : 1hr

PS: I frequently cook broccoli and carrots in salted boiling water for about 3-4mins for different pasta sauces that I make for Ishaan. I take out the vegetables and save the water to use in soups. Instead of making the stock for the soup or buying stock, I use this water in this soup.

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Beetroot Leaves – Potato Soup

beetroot leaves-potato soup

Hope you all had a fun-filled Diwali. I have been reading about the great food many of my friends made. I was lucky enough to get a small Diwali Faral package from a friend, who got it from India. I finished it without giving a morsel to anybody :).

Now after all that eating, do you want to start eating something healthy again? Many of you asked me to post the recipes of soups. I have been making a lot of soups these days. I try my best to make one every day for V’s lunchbox. This is one such soup which we liked very much. When I got fresh beets last week, I wanted to use up the gorgeous leaves and stems. So I prepared this. I wrote it down immediately because I did not want to forget about it.

2 cups chopped beetroot leaves and stems
1/2 cup onion
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1/2 cup lentils (I used 16 bean mix with barley) soaked
1 cup chopped potatoes
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tea spn lemon pepper seasoning (or use lemon juice and pepper)

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Heat oil and add onion, garlic, a little salt. Fry till onions are soft.
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Add the beetroot leaves and stems and let them cook down a bit.
Add potatoes, lentils, cumin powder, broth. Cook till lentils are soft (I cook in either rice cooker or pressure cooker).
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When done, add lemon pepper seasoning (or lemon juice and pepper).
Serve hot with some grated cheese (optional).

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30 mins

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

broccoli cheddar soup
For years I struggled with feeding broccoli to my family. I first saw this vegetable when we moved to US many years ago. Here I see people look at you as you have the most unhealthy food habits if you say you do not cook broccoli on regular basis. I was told I should care more about my kid and feed him broccoli. Anyone whose kids ate this vegetable bragged about it all the time!. Anyway, I am still not at the stage where I want to put this in every dish imaginable (I do that with some other vegetables!!), but I can safely say both the child and V do not mind this vegetable anymore.

Now coming to this soup. V and I have become huge fans of broccoli soup at the restaurant sweet tomatoes. I had picked up a big bag of frozen broccoli from Coscto few days back and I wanted to try out some soup with it. Temperatures here are going down very fast, so I am trying to include a soup in our lunch whenever I can.  Yesterday I prepared this and we loved it. The little one especially wanted to eat the broccoli pieces from the soup. May be this way I will get into “cool mom” list!!.

Also check out my broccoli leek soup.


3 cups broccoli chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup potato
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup whole milk
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tea spn pepper
1/2 tea spn chopped garlic
A little butter (or oil)

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Heat butter (or oil) and add garlic, onion and little salt. Fry for few minutes taking care not to brown onions. When they are translucent, add potato and broccoli.
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Fry for a minute and add vegetable broth. Cover and let broccoli and potatoes cook.
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Take out few pieces of broccoli and chop them in small pieces. Keep aside. Take the remaining mixture in a blender and blend till smooth. Now add cheddar cheese and milk to blender and blend again. The hot mixture helps melt the cheese.
Put the mixture back to medium heat. Add the saved broccoli pieces, add pepper. Serve hot.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 20mins

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Chicken-Vegetable Soup

chicken vegetable soup

We had a snow storm 2 weeks ago that dumped about 12″ of snow here in Kansas. Just when we thought we could move around again, we got the second one last week. Although the driveways were cleaned, it was too cold to move around. We still have lot of snow on the ground. This kind of weather calls for some hot soup.

I don’t make chicken soups at home because V does not like chicken flavor in his soups. I love these kind of soups which are packed with nutrition with vegetables and chicken. So I went ahead and prepared this. It came out so well that both V and Ishaan enjoyed it. To be very honest, I wanted to make my favorite chicken noodle soup, but instead of adding noodles (which I did not have), I added a mixture of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. I marinated the chicken so that it got nice flavors.

1 cup onion
1 cup celery
1 cup carrots
1/2 lb chicken chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 tea spn tobasco sauce (optional)
1/2 tea spn pepper
1/2 tea spn dried basil
1 tbl spn parmesan cheese
1 tbl spn panco bread crumbs
A little butter/olive oil
Chicken/Vegetable stock or water


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Add tobasco sauce, pepper and a little salt to chicken and leave it aside for around 30mins.

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Heat oil or butter and fry onions for few minutes till they are translucent. Add salt to onions to help them break down easily. Do not brown them.
Now add celery, carrots, water or stock and cook till they are soft. I cooked them in pressure cooker.

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Add the chopped chicken and let it cook.

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Then add cheese and bread crumbs. Mix and let it get mixed.

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Now add dried basil, pepper, cook another min. Serve hot.

PS: I used boneless chicken because that is all I had with me. If you are using chicken with bones, you can cook the marinated chicken separately in water/stock. Take out the pieces, then chop chicken in pieces and save them. Use the stock/water to cook vegetables. When vegetables are cooked, add chicken back to soup.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

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White bean Vegetable Chili

white bean veg chili

Hope you all are doing great. We are back in Kansas after a long vacation in India. These were some of the best days of my life – We missed V, since he stayed back here due to his busy work schedule. Ishaan had too much fun with my parents, my brother and his family. For the very first time in last 2 and half years, he ate well and slept well. He enjoyed playing with his little cousin N (my brother’s baby). Weather was beautiful there and we enjoyed every single day. I did take some pictures for the blog, which I will be posting slowly in coming days. Right now we are just trying to get adjusted to very cold weather – imagine staying indoors 24/7 after spending so much time playing out!. As far as I am concerned, I am trying hard to get back to routine, aayi spoiled me with all great food and now I am having a bit of hard time waking up and cooking!.

I have been trying to get back to blogging, but I guess it is going to take some time too. On top of it, we are having some technical issues with the blog and we are working on them. So I picked this recipe where I had the pictures processed and recipe written before I left for the vacation. This has become our go to recipe in this weather. I cooked a big batch of this and froze for V before leaving for vacation. I got the recipe in one of Coscto recipe books. I usually make it vegetarian. Give it a try and you will surely like it.

1 cup white beans
2 cups carrots
1 cup corn
1 tbl spn chopped jalapenos
2 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
1 tea spn chopped ginger
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbl spn lemon juice
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
2 green chillies
Olive oil
1/4 tea spn black pepper (optional)
1/2 cup chicken (optional)

Soak white beans for about 5-6hrs.

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Heat oil and add onion, finely chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic and little salt. Fry for few minutes. If using chicken, finely chop them and add at this stage.
Now add corn, jalapenos, carrots, cumin powder, coriander powder, fry for few minutes.

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Now add white beans, water or vegetable stock, salt, coriander leaves and cook till white beans are cooked. (I use rice cooker, a slow cooker can be used to make this).
When beans are cooked, add lemon juice and cook for another 2-3mins.

white bean veg chili

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Asian Ginger Broth

asian ginger broth

We have become big fans of Sweet tomatoes which is a soup-salad buffet restaurant. We visited it for the first time many years ago and at that time we were not very impressed. We became regular customers here after Ishaan was about 1 year old. This soon became the only restaurant where Ishaan would sit and eat!. V loves the salads and muffins, I love everything they serve – from salads to soups to bread. They keep changing their soup menu often. There was a time when we visited this restaurant every week.

During one such visits, we tasted Asian Ginger broth – very tasty and soothing, having a great ginger taste. We became instant fans. Then we started watching their menus carefully to figure out when this soup was on the menu!. The next step was to make this at home. Just an easy google search landed me on this page with the recipe. If you know me, you also know that I like to make things from scratch. So instead of vegetarian base mentioned in the recipe, I wanted to make it with a vegetarian stock prepared from scratch – that way I could control the quality and taste of broth. I took help from this recipe to make the stock. This soup tastes so great and is very very soothing. Give it a try.

Ingredients for vegetable stock:
3 cups celery
3 cups carrot
2 cups onion
2 bay leaves
1 tea spn black peppers
1 tbl spn chopped fresh ginger
1 tbl spn chopped garlic
8 cups water

Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and bring it to boil. When it starts boiling, turn down the heat to medium for about 45mins to 1 hr till the broth gets all the flavors. Make sure the vegetables don’t get mashed up. Sieve it to remove all the vegetables. Save the water.

For Broth:
Vegetable stock
1 tbl spn corn starch
2 tea spn ginger pieces
1 tea spn garlic pieces

Heat oil and add ginger, garlic and fry for few minutes. Make sure they don’t get browned. Add vegetable stock and bring it to a boil. Mix the corn starch in 2 tbl spn water and add it to stock. Let it boil.
Serve hot.

PS: You can serve chopped green onions, sliced mushrooms, grated carrots or wonton strips with the soup. While eating, add these to the soup and enjoy. We like the soup on it’s own, without any toppings.


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asian ginger broth

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Broccoli – Leek Soup

broccoli-leek soup

If there is one vegetable that I want to include in our diet and miserably failed, then it is broccoli. My friend keeps telling me how great this vegetable is. Lately I have been a little successful in my broccoli mission :). I include it in soups and pastas, but don’t make it ‘star of the dish’. I see better result with the approach!. Recently I made this soup and it came out really good.

2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped leeks
1 tea spn chopped garlic
Pepper powder

Heat butter and fry garlic for few seconds. Do not let it brown. Add broccoli and leeks. When they are cooked, grind them to smooth paste adding little water.
Bring it to boil. Add cream, salt. Cook for few more minutes. Add pepper. Serve hot.


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broccoli-leek soup

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16 Bean Vegetable Soup

16 bean soup

It was around 3 years ago, I found a packet of 16 bean soup mix while doing some grocery shopping. The inspiration came from this post. It was very interesting to see so many types of beans in one packet. Since then, I have bought this very regularly. I have tried different combinations of veggies, sauces, spices in this soup. I make it for our lunch. This makes a very hearty and filling lunch.

I have been down with very bad cold for more than 2 weeks now. So yesterday I made this. I thought I would note down recipe as this must be my favorite version so far. If you cannot find this soup mix, just mix all kinds of beans and dals – like red kidney beans(rajma), chickpeas, white navy beans, brown lentils, black eyed peas (alsande), dried peas(vatana), chana dal, etc, – you have at home.

1 cup 16 bean soup mix
2 cups vegetables – carrot, green peas, corn, celery, green beans, yellow pepper
1/2 cup sauce (recipe below)
1/2 tea spn dried basil
1/2 cup elbow pasta
1/4 cup barley
1/4 tea spn chilli flakes
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
1/2 tea spn pepper powder
1 tea spn chopped garlic

Cook 2 tomatoes and 1 carrot, chopped in big pieces, in water. Grind to a smooth paste.
Heat oil and add 1/4 cup onion. Now add the ground paste, a little sugar(optional), salt, dried basil. Cook till the sauce becomes thick.
Store in airtight container.
(This sauce can also be used with spaghetti or any other pasta).

Soak the beans in water overnight. They increase considerably in volume.
Heat a little oil and fry the vegetables for 3-4mins. Now add the beans, barley, chilli flakes, basil, salt, pepper. Add the sauce. Add about 2 cups water. Cook till the beans are soft – I use either pressure cooker or rice cooker to cook this. You could also use a slow cooker if you have one.
Separately, cook the pasta with salt. Add the pasta to the soup and cook it again for another 1-2mins.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

Pictorial :

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16 bean soup

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Chickpeas-Vegetable Soup

chickpeas-vegetable soup

Wish you all a very happy new year. Hope you all have a healthy, peaceful and prosperous year.

I am not going to make any promises on this blog, because I was not able to keep any of them in 2011! On the bright side, Pappa had his medical checkup last week and his results were better- which was such a big relief for us. Thank you for your prayers.

As much as I love the snow, I am totally enjoying the not-so-cold winter this year. We had temperatures in 60s yesterday. We could walk in light jackets(there was a slight windchill). We welcomed the new year at a friend’s place, with a potluck. It was fun.

For last few weeks, I have been making a conscious effort to prepare and eat healthy dishes. My idlis/dosas now have brown rice in them, I use whole grain bread, almost no butter/ghee in the dishes, more soups and fruits. Everyday I make an effort to look for new healthy dishes.

Here is one soup that I have been making for a while. I make these kind of soups once a week for lunch.

1 cup soaked chickpeas(garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup barley
2 cups vegetables – corn, zucchini, carrot, green beans, green peas, celery
1 cup tomatoes
2 tbl spns coriander leaves
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
1 tea spn chopped garlic

Mix all the ingredients, add 2 cups of water (or vegetable/chicken stock). Pressure cook them for about 4 whistles till everything is cooked through. Once cooked slightly mash the contents with a spoon (optional step). Serve hot.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins (if using pressure cooker)

PS: Most of the times I use rice cooker to make this. It comes out really well and you don’t have to keep an eye on it. Once done, I leave it on warm mode, so that we can enjoy warm soup whenever we want.


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chickpeas-vegetable soup

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