This Orzo, Bean, and Kale Stew is a flavor and nutrition bomb of epic proportions. It's chock full of flavor and plant-based protein. I am obsessed with the creamy texture of butter beans and the flavor of Kabocha squash. Butter beans are lima beans sexy cousin. These delicate and soft white beans are a world apart from my childhood nightmare, vegetable soup's mushy lima beans. These beans are decadent, textural and delectable. And if you aren't familiar with kabocha, it's also called Japanese pumpkin. The rich, depth it gives to soup broths is unbeatable. The texture is starchy like potatoes and it breaks down as it cooks, In this way it can thicken a soup without adding a slurry or roux.
I fancy myself as a master soup maker. Many years of restaurant cooking taught me the value of using up extra ingredients. This is the best way to prevent food waste and loss of revenue. Now I use these lessons from managing restaurant food costs in my own home kitchen. I craft quick, easy and tasty soups that delight my family and keep my wallet happy and full. Like this savory Orzo, Bean, and Kale stew!
My hope is that you will take this recipe and interpret it to your own tastes, available ingredients and skills. Soup is perfect for jazz cooking since it's easy to improvise, make substitutions and adapt to make your own. When you follow my recipe, you will be very happy with your steaming bowl of comforting vegan Orzo, Bean, and Kale Stew. But when you veer off course on your own path, making your own choices, THAT is when you are truly cooking!
Orzo, Bean, and Kale Stew
- large pot or dutch oven https://fieldcompany.com/products/field-cast-iron-dutch-oven
- ½ pound orzo pasta
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 2 cups kabocha squash peeled and cubed
- ½ bunch kale chopped
- 15 oz can butter beans drained
- 15 oz can chickpeas drained
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- ½ cup green peas
- 3 tomatoes chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp Vegan parmesan Optional: 1 cup ground cashews, ½ teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons hempseeds
- cook orzo according to package and set aside.
- in a large pot or dutch oven cook onions and garlic until fragrant 2-3 minutes-add celery, carrots and kabocha, season with salt and cook for 5 minutes
- add tomatoes and cook until they begin to release their juices 2 minutes-
- add in 10 cups water, butter beans, chickpeas, kale, green peas and spices-
- bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes-
- add orzo when serving to avoid the pasta swelling and getting soggy
- garnish with pepper, crushed red pepper and vegan parmesan