At this time of year, heartier food is called for to warm body and spirit. However, sometimes the same old beef stew or vegetable soup just doesn't sound good. If you started observing Meatless Mondays in the warm weather months, you'll need great recipes suitable for the cold weather months. This stoup - a cross between a stew and a soup - fits the bill quite nicely. Because this stoup is made with vegetables and very little cream, it is relatively low in calories and fat. The kale adds a ton of good nutrients, too. You will be satisfied with out feeling overstuffed. —gr8chefmb
Extra virgin olive oil PLUS extra, for drizzling
Medium white onion, diced
Cloves of garlic, minced
Coarse ground salt
Coarse ground black pepper
Red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
Honey, agave or brown sugar
Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
Granny Smith apples, peeled/cored/diced
2 × 14.5-oz cans
Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh kale
Giardineira, Italian pickled vegetable mix), chopped [garnish]
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes longer, or just until onions just start to turn translucent. Add salt, pepper, pepper flakes and sage; cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Add sweet potatoes, apples and vegetable stock to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft. Process until smooth using immersion blender, regular blender or food processor. (If using regular blender or food processor, return stoup to pan.)
Add cream, cannellini beans and kale; simmer uncovered over medium heat until stoup is heated through and kale is wilted, about 10-15 minutes. Ladle stoup into serving bowls, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, top with 1-2 tablespoons giardiniera and shredded cheese.
Serve hot bowlfuls of this stoup with a good crusty loaf of warm Italian bread or a cheese panini sandwich. If you wanted a bit of protein, top the stoup with fresh shrimp or chicken simply seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and then grilled until cooked through.