White Bean, Bacon and Kale Soup and Dallas: Are You Working Today?

Manservant informed me for the third day in a row that he is out of coffee. He also tells me he doesn’t NEED coffee. I believe that like I believe he’s going to get a job offer any day now. The truth is that he doesn’t want to run to the store to get coffee, because it is cold outside. Poor baby. We all know it is cold outside. Every damn channel is covering the cold, except the CNN person who found herself in Miami and is feeling a bit guilty about it. I wish her no ill will!

HOWEVER! There is a guy in Dallas that needs to report for work soon or I swear-I am going to lose it. I am told that he has been on holiday and will hopefully show up tomorrow. I think he is just a wuss and doesn’t want to go outside, because it is cold in Dallas, too. I swear, (I’m doing a lot of swearing today) I will fly down there and escort him to his officedom if I can catch a flight. And if he isn’t on holiday, and this is really related to the weather, than I think he is a doublewuss. It’s just not that cold in Dallas.

You may wonder why I am so busy swearing today… As some of you may know, my Manservant, who is an entrepreneur, has decided that it is time he takes a real job. Well, he decided that awhile ago, but it has taken over a year to find the job. (He is lucky he is still alive.) But-he is an entrepreneur and you can’t be an entrepreneur, unless you have like…20 lives. We are at… like 19.

In any case… he has been told that he will be getting an offer any day now. They have already sent the benefits package. That’s kind of like putting the cart before the horse, I think. Today he got an email from his friend saying that he is sorry this offer hasn’t arrived but it appears the HR wuss in Dallas (these might not have been his exact words) is still on holiday and said offer has to wait on this guy in HR. I hate HR. (Sorry, if you work in HR!) You mean to tell me that in a billion dollar company there is only one guy who can put together the paperwork? Sorry. I am venting…


In any case, I am sitting here on a very sunny, cold day wanting French Fries. I haven’t had French Fries in a very long time. I make French Fries about once a year and today is not the day. But I still want French Fries. With Heinz ketchup and salt. I would eat them all and if you took me out to get them I wouldn’t share. I mean that. I am so not in a sharing mood. But I might give some to that HR wuss if he ever got to his desk. Maybe I would drizzle them with truffle oil and sprinkle them with truffle salt, if the offer is good. But maybe not.  I haven’t been out to eat in so long and this is pathetic, that all I can think I want in a restaurant is French Fries.

The good news is that my son lost 10 pounds in the last 6 weeks. He is working hard at Matsuhisa in Vail. It is a big restaurant and he does a lot of walking. And during the day he does a lot of skiing. So, if you want to lose weight, my suggestion is to work in a big restaurant as a table runner and ski during the day.  I think if I ate all those French Fries I might have to get a job like his. However, I think they only hire young, good looking, robust types that don’t eat French Fries.

A few nights ago he met Nobu and Jose Andres. If you are in the food world, this might make your eyes light up. If you aren’t, forget it. He is doing great and finally, after sleeping on many couches, he was able to move into his just redone rental right on Gore Creek in the Village.  (Score!) I am  just happy he finally has a bed. He is definitely learning how to get by which will serve him well when he leaves to go to China in the Spring. I better not think about that now. It might make me want a double order of French Fries.

Today’s recipe is for soup. Hearty, and soothing, this is a good soup. It is full of fiber and fiber. And kale. Which is fiber, too. You could leave it out. Did I mention protein? Lots of that, too. This is good and filling. And white beans are easy to work with. After a quick boiling water soak of an hour, the soup can then be ready in another hour. You could  make this without the bacon. But it only has three slices of bacon in the whole pot. I don’t think that’s so bad. It just doesn’t have French Fries!


White Bean Soup with Kale and Bacon (Serves 4-8)
Time: About 2 hours-including down time

1 lb of dried white beans
3 thick slices of bacon
2 c chopped onion
1/3 c chopped celery
1/3 c chopped carrots
2 T chopped parsley
5 chopped garlic cloves
1 t dried sage
1 bay leaf
8 c chicken broth (I use Better than Bouilion)
1 bunch of chopped kale (If the inner rib is tough, remove it)
6 chopped sage leaves

Rinse beans and in a big pot cover with 8 c water. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for an hour.

While beans are soaking, chop bacon into big bites. Fry in a big soup pot. (I use my Dutch oven) Remove when good and crisp. Set aside. Throw in the onion, carrots and celery. Saute until soft. Add parsley and garlic and cook for about one minute. Set aside until beans are ready.

After beans have soaked, throw away soaking water and add beans to Dutch oven.  Add dried sage, bay leaf and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a low simmer and keep lid on, but slightly ajar and cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until beans are as soft as you’d like them. (If you want, you can puree some of them with an immersion blender. I like them just the way they are, but this is one way to get a creamier soup.) Add kale and fresh sage about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with bacon when ready to serve. Serve with French Fries. I mean, bread and butter!

P.S. The winners of the $25 gift cards from Whole Foods are Becca Ferguson and 
Liz Berg. Congratulations!

More to try on a cold day:
Pantry Bean Soup
Red Chile
Chili Three Ways
Shrimp and Grits with Tomatoes
Brazilian Coconut Lime Shrimp Stew
Cap’n Crunch Meat Loaf
Pasta Chicken Gratin
Chicken, Artichoke, Mushroom Casserole
Not My Mama’s Chicken Pot Pie

You Might Also Like

  • Winnie
    January 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    This is such a wonderful and delicious looking soup!!
    Perfect for the weather here.
    I will just omit the bacon (it's forbidden for us)

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    January 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks Anna and Liz. Crazy, huh? It should be a good year and I'm glad I made you laugh!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    January 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm


  • Laura Dembowski
    January 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    This soup sounds amazing and so comforting! I'm sorry for the trouble you are having with the job offer. These companies can all be a pain, but it will work out. And your son's job sounds so cool! Oh, and we all crave French fries sometimes. Make a batch and enjoy!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Laura, life can be a lot of trouble but it beats the alternative! Thanks for your optimism! My son has had a lot of cool jobs-but they are all work. Thank goodness he is good at that!

  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    January 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    HI Abbe! I love this soup! Its all we have been making these past few days. And, yours has kale, white beans, and oh that bacon has to be the stellar in the soup – I just know it! Your story about HR is funny and I agree with you, only one guy? Hope your hubby hears something soon. And, your son is having a blast in Vail!

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    January 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Oh girl, this soup is so on. I love me some kale and white beans, and then you added bacon which makes me so darn happy! Pinning, picking kale from the garden for this!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Oh, Pamela! Send me some kale when it's time and I will provide the soup. Wish I loved closer so I could help! Actually, if you lived closer to me, I'd give you my entire yard!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    January 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Oh, Abbe – this soup looks sooooo warm and comforting! We are definitely NOT in Dallas with the HR wuss, nor in Miami with the (cursed) CNN weather lady! Nope – here in Ohio it is cold, cold, cold! As in, my kiddos just got a two-day extension on their holiday break because the schools cancelled due to that cold, cold, cold!!! So, what I need is this soup! And what you need, I know, is for wussy dudes in Dallas to get back to the office … hope that happens SOON! 😀

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      I'm not sure I'd like a day for cold. Much prefer a snow day! Thanks Shelley! It's great to have everyone in my corner!

    January 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    This is one of my very favorite dishes.

  • Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Well Abbe I love the soup – it sounds amazing. I will keep my fingers crossed for that offer to arrive sooner, rather than later 🙂 Best wishes! That would be a good way to start the new year. Stay warm 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      It was a good soup, Tricia. Very comforting. And I think it will be a good year. I am sure ready!

  • Yi @ Yi Reservation
    January 9, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Wonderful soup Abbe! I've been fed on soups this whole week so far and I know I'll be cooking more soup later this week because of this cold weather. Not sure how cold it is in Taxes but it's been below 10F the past few days up here in NYC. Thanks for sharing this hearty soup and I'll soon get to cook it myself! Have a nice week and stay warm!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks Yi. It did get warmer here today, so hopefully it will for you, too!

  • Zoe
    January 9, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Hi Abbe,

    Hope that 2014 is granting you every single wish… Hope that you will be enjoying lots of French fried by now. Hope that your husband has given the job offer… and more…


    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks Zoe! It was a good day today! But still, no fries!

  • Biz
    January 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I thought I commented earlier – but I SO want to go to the restaurant your son works at!! I'll take one of everything. Well, unless it has onions in it.

    Fingers crossed about the hubs job!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      I wouldn't mind going their either! Maybe we could go together! Does Tony eat fish?

  • Barb | Creative Culinary
    January 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I woke up to this as my first post to read and you made me chuckle all the way through. It's all so TRUE yet you made it seem funny anyhow. Perfect Abbe!

    I love soup and even soup with beans. My mother is probably rolling in her grave because that is not the child she knew! I also have a new pressure cooker so they get done even faster. Might have to try this soup out first once I find said cooker. 🙂

    Let's get together soon and I'll treat you at Smashburger. Rosemary and olive oil French fries. You in?

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Barb! At least I can still laugh. He finally just got the verbal, but is told it can take up to two weeks to do the background stuff. They have rosemary and oo French fries? This, I never knew! I don't get out much!

  • shannon weber
    January 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Abbe! so first off, wonderful-looking soup: seriously soup is all i'm thinking about right now. I know where you are you're used to bountiful snow, but we're unprepared for it (at least this much) around here, so i just walk around feeling cold and sorry for myself right now. at least until the temps register above 0 degrees.
    second, good luck to your husband (and by proxy, you!) regarding the finalization of his job offer! It's always annoying waiting for the admin stuff to get finished (especially when it's because the personnel are out) so i hope that resolves quickly. Don't remember if i've told you, but my husband is also a crazy entrepreneur, and you're SO correct: you have to have 20 lives and a good deal of patience and independence, i think, if you happen to be married to one.
    congrats to your son! and how cool to have met such stellar chefs! I would have lost my cool completely: Jose Andres especially to me is astounding and adorable. He always seems like he's having a great time.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Shannnon, I'll bet we both have a lot of WAR stories! Patience is key, but my husband is getting old. He would hate it if I say that. Alex said he signed his cookbook, was very mellow and nice! Should be warming up at your place-it is here.

  • Nazneen Hamilton
    January 8, 2014 at 5:07 am

    Sometimes you just need French fries. I went to Good Times the other day and had a big order with a chocolate shake. YUM. Though, their quality sure has gone down, but I also love Larkburger fries. Thats where I'm getting some next. You should join me.
    Hope Dallas got back to you, and this soup looks wonderful!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      A chocolate shake, too? I think I might have died and gone to heaven! Haven't been to Good Times in years, but Larkburger is opening a place near here. I would love to join you!

  • Liz Berg
    January 8, 2014 at 2:39 am

    I won??? Hooray!!! Very cool. You made me giggle today…I'm with you on the French fries…a whole serving to myself is pure comfort. Hoping the hubby has gotten the offer by now. PS…love the soup!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      I like to make people giggle, Liz. Much better than the alternative! Yes, you won! I'll email you for an address!

  • Sue/the view from great island
    January 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    This soup looks perfect for today, Abbe. I'm trying to eat more kale, and the bacon is just the incentive I need!

  • Sue/the view from great island
    January 7, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Oh Abbe I need this soup right now, it looks fabulous. I am forcing myself to eat more kale this year, and the bacon in this soup is brilliant.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 7, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      Sue, there is no reason to force it. In fact this soup didn't really need it, but it does give it an extra bit of zip! And health! I find that if I use kale in certain recipes I really like it. Manservant on the other hand has yet to understand the kale epidemic. He is more of a spinach guy.

  • yummychunklet
    January 7, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    What a great soup!

  • Angie Schneider
    January 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    That looks soooooooo warming and comforting! I would love one large bowl too.
    HR…well…no comment.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 7, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      Thanks, Angie. Looks like we've all had our experiences with HR!

  • Sharon D
    January 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    This is nice..after all the festive food! GrrRr..on HR! I wish they had more heart.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      I'm not worried about the heart, Sharon. I just wish they could get to the office!

  • kumars kitchen
    January 7, 2014 at 5:14 am

    this soup with greens looks so comforting,delicious 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      It is a comforting soup, Kumars. which is just what I've been needing!

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    January 7, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Well, I don't want to get coffee either because it's 100ºF outside! So hot! But the good news will arrive, I'm sure. I'm thinking of using more beans this year, and this soup sounds amazing Abbe! There's something about soup that never tires me out.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      It's funny Paula, but I never liked soup as a kid. Love it now, though! You need gazpacho!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    January 7, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Good looking soup.Although did you notice you left out the French fries? Probably a typo in the recipe. Sounds like exciting news for the Manservant. Hope everything goes well.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 7, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      I think so. Keep all your fingers crossed! Thanks, Mr. KR!