I’ve been married for almost four years now (where has the time gone?). Something Nick and I have gotten into the habit of doing is talking about our future kids. How tall will they be? What will we name them? Will they be outgoing like Nick or quiet like me? Around the time I bought my first cookbook, Nick and I really started to focus on where our food comes from. We planted a garden and started focusing on eating local and organic produce and meats. Part of that reason is for our own health benefits but the other part is we want to set a good example for our kids. Is that weird? I’m not even sure when we’ll have children but I’m already worried about whether they will get enough vegetables. Yep, that is weird. Oh well. I want to set a good example for them from the beginning and I know that starts with my diet. I can’t remember how I stumbled across Gwyneth Paltrow’s book, “My Father’s Daughter”. I think it may have been my cousin Angela who introduced me to it but it has quickly become my go to cookbook for dinners with friends and lazy nights in front of the TV.
The thing that strikes me about this book is how much passion is in it. From the introduction, to the pictures, to the recipes themselves, you can tell Gwyneth has poured her heart into this cookbook. The recipes themselves are mostly based on fish and white meat and most can be turned into vegetarian or vegan meals. Gwyneth approaches her recipes as a working mom, so the food is accessible, unfussy, and comes together quickly. Alternately it is still elegant and delicious. Her love of cooking and eating with her children is what I hope I will strive for when I have my own.
I make this soup when I’ve enjoyed one too many treats and need something light but still filling. It is full of kale and onions and makes a great lunch.
Recipe from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
White Bean Soup (version one)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds removed for another use, bulb thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- Pinch red chile flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 14oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 pints vegetable stock
- 1 bunch kale
- Course salt
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and garlic, turn the heat as low as it can go, and cook for ½ hour, stirring here and there. A little color is okay, but you really want the vegetables to get soft and sweet. Add the chile flakes, oregano, and pepper and cook for a minute. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, add salt to taste, and let cook on low heat for 1 hour. Stir in kale leaves and let cook for 7 minutes, or until just cooked. Ladle into four bowls, drizzle with your very best olive oil, and serve.