It's Cold and I'm Hungry: Quick and Easy Winter Harvest Vegetable Soup Recipe

I was out shopping in the cold January weather the other day and picked up some great looking kale and mushrooms.  Right then I decided to throw together my favorite winter soup that I have been making for years.  This one is actually a cross between a soup and stew, but all vegetable and all delicious.   This recipe cooks up quickly once all the vegetables are prepared and  will make enough to feed a family of four at dinner.  I have also frozen some of the leftovers into single serve packages for lunches later.  The flavors of the winter vegetables and seasonings work well together and  make a very hearty winter soup. 

1/4 c. chopped yellow onion
5-6 small red new potatoes
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cup chopped or julienne carrots
2 cups shredded kale
1 tbsp olive oil
6-7 cups chicken stock (I have used 7 cups before to stretch the recipe and it was fine) 
1 can northern white beans (you can use the uncooked beans in the bag, but follow directions on the bag for pre-cooking the beans) 
clove garlic 
1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese 
2 good pinches thyme
2 good pinshes sage
2 good pinches  marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
**Chop all vegetables ahead of time so they are ready to go

Start by filling a pot with the chicken stock, add all the seasonings and bay leaf to it and set to medium heat.  

Once veggies are chopped, add the carrots and potatoes to the chicken stock and let simmer. 

Add the olive oil to a pan and set to medium.  Once oil is warmed, add 1/2 the onion, the garlic and the mushrooms.   Saute until mushrooms and onions soften and are lightly browning.  

When the potatoes and carrots have softened and cooked, add the remaining onions, white beans and the kale. Drain the leftover oil from the mushrooms, onion and garlic and add them to the pot.  

Let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  That's it! It's ready to go.  I had also bought a loaf of Farm to Market bread which was perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  I served it with whipped butter topped with olive oil and rosemary as an accompaniment to the soup.   

I have served this both as a main dish and before a main course.  Sprinkle the Winter Harvest Soup with a bit of the Parmesan cheese before serving.  Yum!  

Do you have a favorite soup you make in winter?  Let us know! 

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