Soup, the Ultimate One Pot Meal

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bowl of soup

Easy Bean & Kale Soup

When the outside temperature dips to 8°F, I know it’s time for the ultimately easy one pot meal…. SOUP. Start by choosing your own vegetables, and then add lean meat and or beans. Consider adding a whole grain like quinoa or barley, these not only add protein and fiber they help stretch the recipe and your budget. Choose one or two of the following liquids: water, meat broth, vegetable juice or broth or skim milk, toss in herbs and spices and voila you have a hot, hearty meal. While you are at it, use the extra large pot and double the recipe so you can cook once and eat leftovers several more times.

Over the past year I have been making the effort to include more vegetables in my family’s diet to inch us ever closer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations of  2 ½ cups of vegetables a day. Soup is an excellent way to get that daily recommendation of vegetables as well as lean protein and fiber. If you are not comfortable tossing together your own recipe there are an endless number of recipes on social media, in magazines, in books at the local library and more than likely in a cookbook you already have on your shelf. Just remember to look for recipes that include plenty of vegetables, lean protein, beans, and whole grains and go easy on the salt. My family gave the following recipe a thumbs up. Enjoy!

Easy Bean and Kale Soup


  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can of cannellini or navy beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of butter beans (Lima beans)
  • 4- 6 inch stems of rosemary- leaves finely chopped and stems reserved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups of roughly chopped kale
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan for serving (Optional)


  • Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken broth, beans and their liquid, rosemary stems and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add kale and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  • Discard bay leaves and rosemary stems.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and additional salt and pepper to taste.