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Shrimp, Kale, and White Bean Soup

Um. Wow. I feel so busy that my to-do lists are going out of date every 30 seconds. I also have that awful nagging feeling that I am forgetting at least 3,948 things.

Hopefully not.

I’ve got some fun stuff coming up this weekend, but for tonight, one of my favorite kinds of recipes.  Healthy soup, prepped quickly and finished in the Crock Pot, lasting long enough for quick lunches in the week but not so long that I get sick of it.  Tasty and good for you.  Warm and comforting with no greasy, heavy aftertaste.  Filling, of course, but so full of good stuff, it’s almost sick.

Shrimp, Kale, and White Bean Soup

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon (not maple-flavored!)
  • 8 oz shrimp (I used cooked, but whatever you’ve got is fine)
  • 1 (big) bag kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 C dried barley
  • 1 1/2 C dried navy beans
  • 6 C low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3-4 C additional water (gotta have extra water for the dried beans and barley to soak up)

Notice one ingredient I didn’t list…a very bad cat.

Dice the bacon and quickly sauté it in a large pan over medium heat.  Drain all except 1-2 T of the fat, and add the diced onion and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until the veggies soften and smell freakin’ delicious.

Add the shrimp and toss for just a few seconds.

Meanwhile, in the Crock Pot combine the kale, barley, and navy beans.

Add the shrimp mixture over the top.

And pour over the broth and water.

Mix it up, set the Crock Pot to low for 6-8 hours, and go about your day. You may want to check in once or twice to make sure that there is enough water–all those dried beans and barley are going to soak up lots and lots of water. More than you’ll believe possible.

When it’s ready, you’ll see this:




I’m actually sad that there isn’t any more of this soup.  I don’t really like raw kale all that much, in salads, or really in any form other than chips.

But when it comes to soup, man, kale is hearty enough to maintain some integrity and chew without falling apart like your wimpy baby spinach might.

Yet–it’s still tender.

And don’t even get me started on how obsessed I am with barley in soup.  It has the best chew of any soup grain, plus it gets silky and tasty while maintaining its rough-and-tumble barley ‘tude.

Whatever the heck that means.

I should probably get to bed–tomorrow is my last day of my third clinical, and I made four types of nut butters (white chocolate and milk chocolate peanut butter and almond butters) to be delivered to all the people who really made this clinical an amazing learning experience.  I’ll try to snap a photo tomorrow before I pack ’em up, because the half-pint jars look super cute with a label tied around ’em.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually be able to wake up when my alarm goes off, instead of sleeping another 50 minutes and having to run like the dickens to get to work on time!

Oh, and I miss a certain someone:


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