Healthy Tuscan lemon and cannellini bean soup
Lemon and beans …. I know it’s a bit of a weird combo, but it’s wonderful, I promise. This recipe has a really lovely Italian feel to it and it’s great for a lighter evening option or a good take-to-work soup. The trick is to make sure you rinse all the beans really well. This removes the fluid in the can that otherwise can contribute to the gas effect associated with these otherwise healthy morsels. No one needs that!
This is also a cost-effective way to get two portions of veggies in, especially for people that don’t like vegetables by themselves. If you’re not a fan of kale (although I love it – especially with anything lemony) you could replace with zucchini, broccoli or anything else green.
While this is a great vegan dish, it’s totally fine to use chicken broth if you prefer. Also, adding collagen to this adds an extra burst of amino acids; collagen is also brilliant for gut health, joints, skin and hair too. I usually add it to tea/coffee/smoothies but there’s no reason why you can’t add it to soup. It’s completely flavourless so you won’t know it’s there. If you have leftovers and you refrigerate them, the collagen will temporarily make the soup thicker, but this will change again when it’s heated.
So although summer is on the horizon, try this to warm you up on a cloudy day or when you’re freezing in an overly air-conditioned office. Remember, the more veggies you eat, the lower your risk of bowel and colon cancers and the higher your intake of immune-boosting, age-defying antioxidants. Win-win!
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups organic vegetable broth (can use chicken)
2 tbsps light olive oil
3 leeks, peeled and finely chopped
2 large carrots, washed and finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt (approx, to taste)
½ tsp white pepper (approx, to taste)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 15-oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained
3 tsps fresh rosemary
1 bunch curly kale, washes, stems removed and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
OPTIONAL Great Lakes plain collagen peptides (green can, Miles) – not vegan.
OPTIONAL extra virgin olive oil to serve.
Combine one can of cannellini beans (drained, rinsed) and one cup of the broth in a blender; blend until completely smooth. Set aside for later.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add leeks and carrots; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about six or seven minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper; cook two minutes. Add remaining can of cannellini beans, butter beans and rosemary; stir to combine, and cook for one minute.
Stir in blended bean and broth mixture, two scoops collagen, remaining three cups broth and kale. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes, or until soup slightly thickens. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste.
Serve alone with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy with oatcakes and hummus if you are starving.