With just three short days left until the official start of Spring, Winter has decided to knock on my door and track muddy footprints all over my newly cleaned wood floor. He’s blown into my living room leaving a trail of soggy leaves, dampness and the undeniable need for an afghan, boxed brownies and bad movies on demand.

Winter… don’t be a jerk!

You know what, It’s about time that I break up with you. I met a dapper dandy named Springtime who promises longer days, warm breezes and a new harvest of artichokes. He gets me and quite frankly that sounds a whole lot better than inside-out umbrellas and ruined suede booties. I bid you good day sir!

Mind you, the West Coast has had the mildest of winters. It was 80 degrees a few weeks ago and I completely understand I have no place to break things off so harshly. In fact, I love a good rain storm blowing through. That little chill is the perfect excuse to keep the oven on at 350 for a little extra warmth.

Trust me, I am a wimp and swirl around any lit stove top like a rotisserie chicken.

I recently took a trip back home to Michigan to visit family and take a refresher course on what winter really is all about. Yup…sorry pal. Pristine white fields and snow ball fights will only get you so far with me. I thought for a minute we were meant to be, you’re so romantic. You’re so quiet when flakes start to fall, magical even…then you slapped me in the face with that little thing called wind chill.

That stung man. That stung something awful.

Luckily soup cures most things (like cold fingers or wet socks) and serves as the perfect mutual handshake of separation between you and your unkind weather. Let’s spring forward with my favorite one pot wonder: kale & white bean soup. It’s hearty not heavy and goes heavenly with some toasted garlic bread. Who said breaking up was hard to do? It’s on!

Winter, it’s me…not you. No wait, it is really all about you. You’re testy and dirty and sometimes downright mean. We were always better long distance anyways. We can stay friends…as long as I live on the west coast. Beat it.

Recipe: Kale & White Bean Soup w/ Tomato Herb Broth

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 28 Oz Tin of Whole Plumb Tomatoes, slightly pureed
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Bunch of Kale (or Collard Greens), coarsely chopped
  • 15 Oz Tin of White Kidney Beans
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 White Onion, chopped
  • 5 – 8 Sprigs of Thyme

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot add garlic and onion, saute until soft with olive oil
  2. Add in chopped carrots and Whole sprigs thyme, continue to stir for approx 8-10 more minutes
  3. Add in Kidney Beans
  4. Add in tomatoes, slightly pureed leaving small chunks
  5. Add in 3 cups broth, reserving 1/2 for kale
  6. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes
  7. Remove Thyme stems
  8. Add in chopped kale, stir 5 – 10 minutes
  9. Add additional broth if needed
  10. Salt, pepper & red chili flakes to taste
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Number of servings: 4
 
Note: My mother makes a mean version where you simply substitute the kale and white beans with a bag of pre-washed baby spinach and a handful of cheese tortellini. Sooooo good, especially if you need a little extra carb oomph for those extra cold/extra fickle seasonal breakups.

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