1/4 cup olive oil
3 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 large bunch of kale (about 6 cups washed, trimmed of the center stem, and cut into 2 inch strips)
1 tablespoon dried sage (1/4 cup chopped fresh sage)
3 cups beans (rinse well if using canned)
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
6 teaspoons freshly grated Romano cheese


1. Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat.
2. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften.
3. Add garlic, and cook until that softens, also, about 7 minutes.
4. Add the chopped squash, and cook for five minutes.
5. Add the red pepper, and toss it in the vegetables mixture.
6. Add broth.
7. Cover and cook until the squash is tender.
8. Add the kale and sage to the stew, and cook until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.
9. Add the beans, and olives, and heat through.
10. Season with salt and pepper.
11. Serve hot with freshly grated cheese on top.

Recipe courtesy of Heather Atwood, 2012.

This soup, or rather a stew, answers everything about the week after a holiday: half the ingredients are probably still in your pantry - kale, butternut squash, and beans. Add a bit of garlic, Kalamata olives, and a healthy grating of fresh Romano cheese transforms these leftovers while sailing your taste buds to the Mediterranean.

After the holiday line-up of cream and sugar-festooned cuisine, most want the clichéd “clean, healthy food.” And, to negate the attentiveness required for holiday culinary masterpieces, most people also want food that doesn't require vast amounts attention. This dish answers that desire for more free time: from start to finish, this dish can be ready to be served in 30 minutes.

If over-doing it on everything this holiday season has you truly penitent, this recipe is the perfect solution: this stew is also vegetarian, even vegan if you omit the cheese. Giving fresh taste and packed with nutrition, this recipe for Vegetarian Kale Stew won't have you straying too far outside of your culinary comfort-zone.

Vegetarian Kale Soup
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