Kale and White Bean Soup

Kale and White Bean Soup // A Thought For Food

I’d like to think my grandfather would’ve enjoyed this soup. My grandfather (we called him “Pop”) loved soup. He loved it so much that he’d finish his bowl before anyone else at the table. However, this wasn’t just the case with soup. Pop was a very fast eater, a habit he picked up during his years as a pediatrician. With limited time for meals, he’d scarf down what was in front of him so he could get back to the hospital. I remember moments as a child when he’d come home for lunch. Within five-minutes he’d be clearing his plate, give me a pat on the head, and be out the door.

Pop passed away a few weeks ago, just shy of turning 91 (his birthday was December 31st). Eric and I spent most of the holiday week down in New Jersey with my family. It felt good to tell stories about him, to laugh a bit. But processing someone’s death is never quick (nor should it be)… this will take some time.

Kale and White Bean Soup // A Thought For Food


Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced sweet potato, 1/4 inch dice
1 pound kale, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
Black pepper
1-32 oz container low-sodium vegetable broth
1-16 oz can cannellini beans, drained
1-8 oz can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
1 piece parmesan rind
Grated parmesan, for serving

Add oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot and set over medium-high heat. After 30 seconds, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add sweet potato and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in kale. Once the kale has wilted, add the rosemary, parmesan rind and vegetable broth. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Stir in beans and canned tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with grated parmesan cheese.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

A bowl of hot soup soothes the soul in ways few foods can. Even the process has a calming effect. The peeling and chopping of vegetables, the smell of them sautéing, the steam that escapes as it simmers on the stove. I find the whole experience comforting. I've made many batches over these last couple of months to serve to dinner guests (anyone else exhausted from all the holiday gatherings?). This carrot soup was for our friends who just had a baby a few weeks ago. We spent the afternoon at their home, cuddling with the little one, who slept soundly in my arms until she was ready for more food or wanted to be changed, all things I could pass her off for her mommies to do. It made my heart soar to see how happy the two of them are with their new addition. 

I'm looking forward to this coming year and all the dishes I have rattling around in my head. To be honest, things felt a bit disjointed over these last twelve months. There was a lot to juggle... the Cape house, work, travels... and I found it challenging to focus. But I'm feeling like this soup is the right direction. Cooking the things I love to eat and just sharing that with all of you. Here's to a great 2018! Cheers!

Carrot Ginger Soup from A Thought For Food
Carrot Ginger Soup from A Thought For Food -

Carrot Ginger Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings
Special Tools: Blender or Immersion Blender

2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons yellow miso paste (use gluten-free miso to make this fully gf)
Sesame oil (optional)
Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Cook onion for 3 minutes, stirring often, until. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add chopped carrot, cover with 4 cups vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. 

Transfer the soup contents to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. Add miso and maple syrup and blend to incorporate. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add salt. Transfer the mixture back to the pot. The soup will be on the thicker side, but you can thin it out with another cup of vegetable broth. 

Serve in bowls with a light drizzle of sesame oil and chopped cilantro on top. 

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Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Something happened this weekend that touched me. I got a note from a reader looking for a recipe (well, funnily enough, it was this soup recipe) that they couldn't find on the site. I get these messages once in a while, people looking for posts that, for one reason or another, no longer exist. I lost a few while transferring my site platform and I'm slowly adding them back (it's a bit of a process since I have to start from scratch and write the recipes, take the photos, etc). Anyway, I got a message over Facebook asking if I could share this soup recipe with them. I must admit that I don't always make the effort and will often say something like "I'm sorry, but the recipe is gone." but I decided it wouldn't be that hard to write it out for her.

A few minutes later, I received the following note: "You are AMAZING! Thanks so very much for your quick response. This is one of my favorites and exactly what I needed this weekend. I lost my grandmother this week and this is basically a hug in a bowl. Keep on cooking and sharing... you're actually touching people in ways you didn't even realize."

When I read this, I was taken aback. I hadn't expected my response to mean a whole lot, but here we have it... proof that even small gestures can have a huge impact. You never know what a smile will do to brighten up someone's day. Or how a simple compliment can boost someone's spirits. They're little things that we can all do. An important lesson as we head into a new year.

Soup was one of the first things I remember learning to cook (and I think for those interested in developing their culinary skills, it's a great place to start). The process fascinated me. Where so many meals consist of multiple elements that should work together (if done correctly), one bite of soup has to hit all the right notes. Preparing soup taught me how to properly season food. It taught me the importance of textures in a dish. And, above all else, I learned that with just a few ingredients, one can create a delicious, totally satisfying meal. 

This wild rice and mushroom soup was a staple when I was growing up, and I continue to make it throughout the winter. It's a hearty soup, but quite healthy too.  Most of the items in here are probably already in your pantry. 


I was able to get all of my ingredients using Peapod, the grocery delivery service. It was a cold day (despite the pictures, it was in the twenties) and I was in no mood to leave the house. I've heard lots about Peapod. My grandparents use them and at least once a week the truck drives down our street to deliver to our neighbor. The driver was very nice and all of my groceries were brought straight to my front door. I have a feeling I'll be using it again during our next snowfall (which I really don't want to think about).

What really surprised me was how easy it was to order through their site. Sometimes online commerce can be a bit hard to navigate, but when I used it, I was able to find items quickly either through a search or by "shopping by aisle." Also, I don't know about you but I'm terrible at keeping track of pantry items so I loved that I could browse through the store and come across things like nuts or dried fruit and be reminded that I'd been meaning to pick some up. All of your orders are saved in the system, making it very easy to reorder groceries. 

In working with Peapod to create this post, I learned some things about the company that I didn't know. Like I had no idea they've been around since 1989, making it the longest operating Internet grocery service. Their markets include: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and, of course, Massachusetts. To get more info about Peapod, head on over to the website... and be sure to check out their blog for recipe ideas.

Sometime in the next week, I'll be hosting a giveaway over on Instagram for a year long PodPass membership for one Boston-area resident. PodPass is a membership-based program that removes all delivery fees for orders over $100.  Be sure to follow me on on Instagram to get all the details about the giveaway.  

DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Peapod. Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Thought For Food possible.


If you do not own an immersion blender, you can just dice the vegetables instead of leaving the pieces bigger.

8 servings

1 cup cooked wild rice
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb white button mushrooms, washed and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
Black pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped

Set a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Let heat for 30 seconds and add onion. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, mushrooms, carrots, celery, mushrooms and rosemary and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vegetable broth and water, cover pot, and cook for 15 minutes. 

Stir in cooked wild rice to the soup and, using a hand blender, give it a quick blend to break up larger pieces. Season with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with fresh parsley.