Vegan Super Greens and Protein Soup

Vegan Super Greens and Protein Soup

I recently came to the oddly satisfying realization of having reached a new stage of New Yorker-dom when I attempted to wear something red for International Women’s Day last week. Searching through my closet and dresser drawers that morning, I found myself swimming in a sea of neutrals: mostly black and gray, some touches of navy. I’d subconsciously embraced the city’s dark color palette, or perhaps sought for myself a kind of intermediate ambiguity in this land of extremes. For IWD, I settled on red lipstick as my feminist badge and an all-black ensemble as my New Yorker badge.  Something similar happened when St. Patrick’s Day arrived at the end of a snowy and dreary week—weather-wise and environmental protection-wise. I was content in wrapping myself up in my cozy grays-—socks and sweaters and scarves—and telling people that I donned my 1/8-Irish pride through the color of my eyes. If color was my challenge as a New Yorker, I also faced difficulties as a vegan: it’s hard to participate in some of the traditional foods of this holiday and culture without the, you know, corned beef and buttered soda bread. But determined to make an effort to be in the spirit, and to compensate for my other shortcomings, I consumed a fair amount of green foods: an (overpriced) matcha latte, a green probiotic drink, even a juicy, post-season Mutsu apple.  But the star of my St. Patty’s menu was this hearty and substantial kale-based soup (sorry, cabbage). The various greens give it a vibrant and spring-like presentation even as the richer base of carbs and protein warms and fuels the body on these still-too-cold nights. This recipe makes enough for several servings plus plenty to freeze should the weather suddenly decide to turn green in step with the Spring Equinox. 


Super Greens and Protein Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp. each turmeric  salt and pepper, coriander, cumin
  • 1/4  tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium white potato diced into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 block firm tofu drained and cubed
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 c. white beans soaked*
  • 1-1/2 c. diced tomatoes
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 bunches of kale stems removed and coarsely chopped**
  • Coconut yogurt fresh cilantro, lime wedge to serve


  •  In a large pot or dutch oven, stir together the olive oil and spices before turning to a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté 3-5 minutes until the onion is translucent and spices are fragrant (but not burnt). 
    2. Add the tomato paste, diced potato, tofu, and asparagus. Lower the heat, and cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the potato is soft. 
    3. Add the beans, diced tomatoes (including any juice), and extra water. Stir to combine and raise heat to high. Cook until the liquid begins to just boil, enough to heat the ingredients. 
    4. Add the chopped kale, and cook for another 5-10 minutes on low until the kale is just wilted and still bright in color. 
    5. Let the soup cool slightly before blending smooth with an immersion blender or transferring to a food processor. (If using a food processor, make sure the soup is room-temperature before blending.)
    6. Divide into bowls, and top with yogurt, fresh cilantro, a lime wedge, 


*I prefer cooking with dry beans, which requires soaking overnight. For this, start with 2 cups of dry white beans, place in a bowl of water 2 inches above the beans, and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. The beans will soak up the water, so make sure you use a big enough bowl for expansion. **Save your kale stems for homemade stock or roasting!


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