Winter Potato & White Bean Chowder with Kale & Coconut Bacon
Here's a hearty soup that you can make with Winter pantry and produce staples - potatoes, white beans, kale, rosemary and lemon combine for a dreamy, creamy chowder! A quick coconut bacon recipe is included as the perfect garnish to this soup. This recipe is naturally gluten, grain and dairy-free.
This soup has been on my mind for weeks - the idea of a potato-based chowder, made a little heartier with white navy beans and with a hint of vegetal green using kale and rosemary. Brightened up with just a little lemon zest, and then topped with super-savoury, crunchy, delicious coconut bacon. I knew it was going to be good, and so even though I had the flu and was feeling exhausted, a few weekends ago I mustered up all my energy and made this soup. And you know? It was quick to make, and just as good as I had hoped. I made it again, with just a tiny adjustment for salt and to make sure that it was actually as good as I thought when I was sick (and it was, thankfully!). So now I finally get to share it with you guys :)
This time of year can be a bit challenging in the kitchen. On the one hand, I know a lot of people are looking for light and cleansing foods (because January), but it's also freezing cold in this area of the world, and cold weather combined with lack of daylight hours often has us reaching for warming and cozy foods. Warming and cozy doesn't need to mean unhealthy though, and my go-to recipes right now are those that are veggie-heavy but more focused on cooked foods (rather than a lot of raw veg), good spices, and overall healthy-ish. The things that make you feel good and provide nourishment in more ways that one - healthful, but also a cozy hug kind of feel. This chowder fits the bill. The coconut bacon recipe I've included as the garnish should not be skipped! The recipe makes more than you'll need for topping the soups, and that's intentional because if you're going to spend the time making a garnish, you might as well get more use out of it than just one meal, right? This coconut bacon is so good loaded into a "BLT" sandwich, as a salad topping for some crunch (especially caesar salads), or just eaten out of hand as a snack (this is totally how I go through most of my batches). Hope you guys enjoy it! xo
Winter Potato & White Bean Chowder with Kale and Coconut Bacon
Serves 4. I rarely peel my potatoes because the skin provides nutrients, and peeling takes up extra time - choose to peel or not, according to your own preferences :)
1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
1 large onion, diced small (1 1/2 heaped cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 sprigs rosemary, finely minced (about 2 tsp)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
3 1/2 cups potatoes, chopped into 1/2" cubes
1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces (about 3/4 cup - you can use potato instead if you prefer)
4 cups water or stock of your choice
2 heaped cups kale, sliced into thin ribbons
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup cooked white beans
olive oil, to garnish
Place a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and salt. Stir and cook until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, celery, rosemary, and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper (or, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper). Stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until softened but not browning. Add the potatoes and parsnips to the pot and stir briefly to combine. Add 4 cups water (or stock) and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and parsnips are cooked. Stir in the beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and carefully scoop 2 cups of soup into a blender. Blend until smooth and return to the pot with the lemon zest and kale. Bring the heat back up to medium and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the kale is bright green and wilted. Taste for seasoning - more salt? more pepper? Adjust to suit your taste, then serve topped with coconut bacon (recipe follows), a drizzle of olive oil, and extra black pepper.
2 tbsp tamari
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, avocado oil, or melted coconut oil
2 tbsp brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
2 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the coconut flakes. Add the coconut flakes and stir to combine, making sure that all the coconut pieces get coated in the liquid mixture. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the coconut to soak in the marinade, then pour the mixture onto the parchment-lined sheet (make sure you get all the liquid mixture!) and spread the mix out evenly on the tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, pushing the coconut bacon on the outside of the tray towards the centre, and the coconut bacon in the centre towards the edges to help it bake and brown evenly. Return to the oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes (keeping a close eye on it so it doesn't burn). Remove from oven and allow to cool before using. The coconut bacon will crisp up more as it cools. Store any extras in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, and eat within 1 week.
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