Lean, Mean, Beans & Greens

As it would happen, I kind of love leafy greens. Spinach, arugula, creasy, collards, chard, and (of course)… Kale. But my love of Kale has enough room for its own post.


Winter is settling in for realz, which is great. Or, would be great, if my toes weren’t freezing all the time. Don’t point out that most modern of conveniences — socks — I don’t want to hear it and I certainly don’t want to wear them to bed. Can you say, “Un-sexy”? What I need is a delicious something, great for curling up with a good book or (I mean, let’s be honest) my trusty iDevice and savoring the warmth and comfort of a great soup.

Yes. This post is about soup. Deal.

But not just any soup. A delicious and flexible soup. I’ll give you the base and some variations. Clean out your veggie drawer at the end of the week with this delicious concoction.


Yes — THIS delicious concoction

Kale (lacinato or curly) and collards are excellent choices for this soup. When using lacinato or collards, cut the leaves into chiffonade once the greens are stemmed and washed for green noodle-like goodness. Curly kale receives a rough chop. Play with the cuts for the mirepoix veggies. I almost always just dice the onion, but you could do rings or semi-circles. Carrots look lovely as thin rounds, or stick to the easy dice. Celery can stay in a rough chop, a dice, or julienned. Have some fun. Make it art.


  • Hardy leafy greens (1-2lbs), stemmed, washed, cut
  • 2C diced white onion (1 large)
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 2 small carrots or 1 large
  • 2C vegetable or mock-chicken stock + 1 C more

In a large pot over medium heat, combine onion, celery, and carrots. Allow to cook, stirring continuously, until the vegetables start to become fragrant. Add 2 C stock and bring to a simmer. Add the greens. Cover and cook 30 minutes, checking once and adding more stock (up to 1C) as necessary.

Choose a variation below and follow instructions accordingly.


  • 2 (15 oz) cans white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, or garbanzo), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or in a paste
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 C vegetable or mock-chicken stock

Add all ingredients to the base. Simmer another 30 minutes, adding stock or water to reach desired consistency. Adjust seasonings before serving.


  • 1/2 C uncooked jasmine rice
  • 2-4 C vegetable or mock-chicken stock
  • 1 bunch lemongrass, tied into a sheaf
  • 1/4 tsp Hungarian smoked paprika
  • 2-4 small Thai green chiles, diced fine
  • 1 (15 oz) can coconut milk (full-fat or lite)
  • generous handful fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut into chunks

Add all ingredients to base. Cook until rice is done, about 30-45 minutes, adding more stock or water as necessary. Remove lemongrass sheaf before serving.


  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 C vegetable or mock-chicken stock
  • 4 oz sausage-style chopped seitan or crumbles
  • 1/4 C diced sundried tomato
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

Add all ingredients to base and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Depending on the brand of seitan, you may want to decrease the amounts of dried spices you use. Alternately, brown the seitan separately and add as you are serving the soup.

Do you have a favorite type of food?


3 thoughts on “Lean, Mean, Beans & Greens

  1. These all look delish, the only dilemma is which to try first! My favorite foods are anything fried- sweet potato fries,flaming balls, falafel,tempura,samosa. I didn’t think it was possible to have fried soup until I was in SF at Burma Superstar.They use the leftover samosa and put it in awesome broth-gah! so good.

    • Start with the Classic, then decide if you want to try the others or adapt it yourself. You’re so talented, I bet you’d come up with something amazing incorporating Ube or taro and something else super-colorful and awesome! 😀 Fried soup sounds like a winner, winner, faux-chik’n dinner rofl

  2. Pingback: Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow… | The Vegan Virtuoso

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