Weeknight Cooking

An Argument for Eating Soup on Valentine's Day

February  9, 2015

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.

Today: Leave the truffles and the chocolate cake behind (but you can bring the earrings along): This Valentine's Day, the way to the heart is through soup. 

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Near the beginning of Nick Offerman's stand-up (watch it on Netflix -- it's weird and good), he offers some very Valentine's Day-applicable advice:

"Go to your printer," he says, from somewhere beneath the moustache. "There’s paper in there. Find the paper. Take a sheet of it. Fold it in half. Draw a heart on it. Open it up. Write 'I love you.' Sign your name. You will get. So. Kissed.”

He's right, I think. Definitely. When it comes to Displays Of Affection, this is an A+, home run move. Make me a lovely grade school card and I will totally kiss your face. I will keep the card in a box forever and I will take it out to look at when I'm sad. Thank you very much for the great card.  

Or instead you could make me soup? 

The downside of being my friend/my sister/my boyfriend/my roommate is that many of my presents arrive in a Tupperware. I’ve written letters, bought sweaters, and painted bad ceramics, but more often than not, my “I care about you"s come straight from the oven. I make Cheer Up Crumble and I’m Sorry Chocolate Cake, You’re So Much Better Without Him Curry and Thank You For Everything Waffles. When I like you so much and I need you to know it, I adhere to the adage that says feeding you’s the fastest way. 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, today we make I Love You Soup. ILYSoup has wine and rosemary, plus sausage if you dig that. Make it for the human beings you love in your life, and then, self-love style, steal all of the leftovers and freeze them for later.  

White Bean and Kale Soup with Sausage

Serves 5

Olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
One 15-ounce can white beans (like Great Northern), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 to 3 cups chopped kale
1 pound sausage (like kielbasa or chorizo)
Salt and pepper, to season
Red pepper flakes, to sprinkle
Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Alpha Smoot

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A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.


Chef C. February 17, 2015
I made this for Valentine's Day dinner and it was perfect, next time I'll add more kale and more stock. It was tastier after two days in the fridge, I think. I used the best kielbasa I could find, which was from a Polish butcher shop nearby
Mati February 11, 2015
Does anyone know how this would work out without the sausage? Or, if I had to use meat for the flavor, possibly chicken? I am an inexperienced cook trying to lose weight and make healthier meals.
Kendra V. February 11, 2015
I've done it without meat and its just as good!
Mati February 11, 2015
Thank you, Kendra!
Kit B. February 11, 2015
Sounds and looks wonderful, and by the way, I love your writing style--very entertaining posts! Thanks!
Cody A. February 10, 2015
Thanks Kendra! Made this last night to warm up after a 3-hour outdoor engagement photo shoot (in Canada). It was the perfect mix of quick and delicious!
AntoniaJames February 9, 2015
This is a great idea, to stop being a follower and take the occasion in a completely different direction. I make the love of my life (of 35 years) hearty soups like this a couple times a week, at least, during the cooler months, and he just had a birthday with a classic "special" dinner (rib eye with Bearnaise, etc.). We're celebrating with something we rarely eat - pasta. In this case, we'll top our spaghetti with Rao's meatballs in Hazan's butter and onion tomato sauce; broccoli rabe on the side (he loves it) and then a rich chocolate dessert (because I love it!) ;o)