Black Bean + Kale Soup

It doesn’t get much simpler, or healthier for that matter, than this veggie loaded soup.  It’s one of those soups that I (pretty much) guarantee you have all the ingredients for in your pantry and fridge.  My little guy also loved it, although I did have to pull out the kale from his bowl.  The only way he eats kale (for now) is when I make him chips.  I saw a recent poll on facebook where we were asked if we truly like kale or do we feel it’s just a fad?  I personally love it, it’s so versatile, tasty, and you can’t deny the health benefits.  It is also fantastic in this soup alongside the plump black beans.

Black Bean + Kale Soup Recipe

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans organic black beans
  • 1/2 a bunch kale, washed and torn into pieces, stems removed and discarded
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)

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Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.   Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, and cook for 10 minutes.  The carrot should be slightly softened now.
  • Add vegetable stock, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium-low, add kale, and let simmer for approx. 20 minutes, or until carrots and celery are tender.
  • Taste; add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and tabasco (optional).

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Grilled Corn Salad With Black Beans + Cilantro

Who loves summer salads?  We’re having a different one practically every night over at my place.  This salad especially screams summer, with juicy corn on the cob grown locally and picked up at our farmer’s market to the refreshing lemony, cilantro and other fresh ingredients.  This salad has a nice punch of spice thanks to the jalapeño, and I actually used three, but I really enjoy (extra) spicy food, so I suggested you use two in the recipe.

Grilled Corn Salad With Black Beans + Cilantro Recipe

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of corn, shucked and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed and diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Place corn on grill and allow it to grill on all sides, about 10 minutes in total.  When you see charred barbeque marks, it’s good to go.

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  • Allow corn to cool enough to handle and in the meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine bell pepper, black beans, and jalapeño.
  • Slice the corn kernels off of the cob, and add them to the bowl.

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  • Top with lemon and lime juices and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper, mix, and taste.  Adjust flavouring with either more salt and pepper or more lime/lemon juice, or if you’re like me, an extra jalapeño pepper.

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  • Enjoy!