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Julie Van Rosendaal makes soup

B6rAMOCCQAA-2iu.jpgEyeopener food and nutrition columnist Julie Van Rosendaal stops by with soup recipes for the new year.





Sausage, White Bean & Sweet Potato Soup with Kale

If you have the hard rind of a chunk of Parmesan cheese in your fridge, toss it in here as the soup simmers.

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 small onion, chopped
1/2-1 cup chopped garlic sausage or kielbasa (or a crumbled fresh sausage)
leaves off a couple sprigs of thyme (optional)
1 small dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 L chicken stock
1 14 oz (398 mL) can white or navy beans, drained
1-2 large chard or kale leaves, chopped (discard tough stems)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Set a medium pot over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the sausage (and thyme, if you're using it) and cook for a few more minutes, until the sausage is starting to brown.

Add the sweet potato and chicken stock, along with a cup or two of water if you think it needs it, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until the sweet potato is just tender. Add the beans and chard and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the potato is very tender and the chard is wilted but still bright green.

Serve with crusty bread, topped with Parmesan cheese. 

Serves 4-6.

Ham & Black Bean Soup

If you have a ham bone, put it right into the soup pot to simmer and if you like, use water instead of stock. Pull it out before serving, removing any meaty bits to add to the soup.

olive or canola oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped, including the leafy bits

1/2 cup diced leftover ham
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 small dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 14 oz. (398 mL) or 28 oz. (798 mL) can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can black beans, drained
chopped cilantro, avocado and/or crumbled feta cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, carrot and celery for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the ham, jalapeno, red pepper and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the sweet potato, tomatoes, stock and black beans and bring to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.

If you like, you could use a blender, food processor, or hand-held immersion blender to process about half of the soup, making it as chunky or smooth as you like. If you like, turn the heat down and simmer the soup uncovered for half an hour or so to allow it to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot, topped with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado and crumbled feta.

Serves 6.

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