Friday, January 10, 2014

Spicy Broccoli Rabe + White Bean Soup


My energy/productivity levels seem to have a direct correlation to the amount of sunshine on any given day.

Bright, gorgeous, sunshiny day? Just try and stop me -- I'm on fire.

Cloudy, rainy, gloomy day? I'm lucky if I change out of my jammies.

What can I say, I'm solar powered. Pretty appropriate for a Florida girl.

The "Sunshine State" has done a poor job of living up to its moniker this week, bringing buckets of rain and the tiniest glimmers of sunshine through the thick blanket of clouds that have been looming overhead. I'm not complaining... I realize half the country has been buried beneath mountains of snow thanks to the "Polar Vortex". I realize how good we have it. {Though, seriously, there are some areas that are so flooded right now you'd need a rowboat to get to work.} I'm just telling you this because I need an excuse for the non-recipe recipes I've been sharing this week.

Something about falling precipitation -- rain, sleet, snow -- causes cravings for soup.


It warms you up from the inside out and, whether you're soaked to the bone or chilled to the core, feeds the tummy and the soul.

Truth be told, I didn't plan on sharing this recipe on the blog... it wasn't even a "recipe". It was just a bunch of stuff I threw into a pot on a rainy day that happened to result in deliciousness. Sometimes those types of meals turn out to be the best ones to share.


White beans form a healthy base for this comforting soup. Not a drop of dairy to be found, and yet, the result is creamy and rich enough to give a sense of decadence. A hint of spice from red pepper flakes turns up the heat, and the subtle bitterness from broccoli rabe adds interest to this simple dish. Served with crusty bread or salty crackers, it's truly complete.


So, if you're like me and this week has had you struggling for energy {i.e. you're completely unmotivated to cook but are still hungry}, this is soup is a great solution to your rainy day/snowy day blues.

What's your favorite recipe when Mother Nature is being temperamental? 

Stay dry, friends!

Spicy Broccoli Rabe & White Bean Soup

1/2 a large onion, diced
Pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it
2 cans white beans, rinsed & drained {I used Great Northern Beans}
3 cups low sodium chicken broth {or vegetable broth}
1/2 of a medium yellow squash, chopped {or 1 small one}
1/2 of a medium zucchini, chopped {or 1 small one}
1/2 of a large bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems removed, chopped {probably about 3-4 cups worth}

1. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and saute for 4-5 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring frequently until fragrant.

2. Add beans and about 1 cup of chicken broth to the mixture. Bring to a slight simmer.

3. Ladle out about 2-3 ladle-fulls of bean mixture {you can do more or less depending on how you prefer the texture of your soup -- for chunkier soup, scoop out less for smoother soup scoop out more} and place in a blender. Blend until smooth. Return blended mixture to pot and stir.

4. Add remaining chicken broth and stir well. Add squash and zucchini and stir to incorporate. Increase heat and bring to a bubble.

5. Once bubbling, add chopped broccoli rabe and stir. Let cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the tougher parts of the broccoli rabe are tender and the zucchini is no longer raw.

Serve hot with crusty bread or crackers. Or croutons. Or those yummy little oyster cracker things. Mmm.

*I don't add a whole lot of salt to things that have chicken broth as it is usually flavorful enough, but as always, season to taste.

1 comments:

Alli said...

YUM! I will be making this soon!

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