Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup

Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time now and I fear I’m almost too late – I don’t think kale is actually in season any more.  But the problem with my goldfish memory is that if I add it to the vault to post next year, chances are I will have completely forgotten I ever cooked it, let alone took the photos to show you all! 

Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup

So it’s now or never… even if now is a rather beautiful sunny day not terribly well suited to a bowl of thick, fragrant, warming soup!  It’s too delicious to be forgotten about though and very easy to whizz up quickly for lunch. 

Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup

It might sound a little odd to add orange to a soup.  But the combination of orange with kale, rosemary, cinnamon, and a hint of chilli really is a great one, and the butterbeans make this soup wonderfully silky and thick.  If you don’t have any butterbeans, just substitute in another sort of bean – I’ve used cannellini beans before too.

Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup

The recipe below includes ingredients and instructions to make a topping for the soup but sadly I’ve always been too lazy to get that far so can’t report back on that bit. But I imagine it would be a delicious addition and make the finished result look a bit prettier too!

Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup


Kale, Butterbean & Orange Soup

From the Telegraph Magazine, 16th Jan 2014
Serves 4

A few splashes of olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
½ red chilli, finely chopped (or a good pinch of dried chilli flakes)
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
A pinch of ground cinnamon
The juice and zest of 1 orange
1 litre vegetable stock, warmed
2 x 400g tins of butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 large handfuls of kale, leaves removed from woody stalks and finely chopped
A large handful of almonds, chopped
A pinch of chilli powder
A drizzle of honey

To make:

1.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, potato and carrot and cook over a low heat until the onions are glossy and tender. 

2.  Stir in the garlic, chilli, rosemary, cinnamon and orange juice and zest.  Cook until the orange juice reduces to a sticky glaze. 

3.  Add half the stock and all of the beans. Let it bubble gently until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  Add the kale and cook for a minute or so until wilted. 

4.  Whizz the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth,  adding more stock as needed to reach the desired consistency.  Season to taste.  Add more orange juice or chilli if needed.

5.  The step I missed out…Fry the chopped nuts in a little olive oil over a medium heat until just golden.  Add a pinch of salt, a hint of chilli powder and a trickle of honey, just enough to coat.  Once the honey has formed a sticky glaze, remove from the pan.  Scatter nuts over each bowl of soup


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