Vegan Soup Endeavors with Kale

Yum, yum!

So, this has become my absolute go-to soup for many reasons. One major reason is that my local grocery store only seems to sell kale in bulk, so I can make about three batches of this soup and still have enough left to stuff a mattress and a pillow set. Another reason is it’s healthy and super delicious! Kale really is the vegetable of the moment, so let’s make some soup with it!

I tweaked this excellent recipe, since I always like to make things my own.


Prep time: depends how fast you cut vegetables. Conservatively, 10 minutes.
Cook time: 10-20 minutes.
Makes: approximately 3-4 servings


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 (32-ounce) box vegetable broth
4 cups packed chopped kale
1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup elbow noodles (or slightly less)
2 tablespoons chili powder


1. Cut all the vegetables and chop the garlic. While you’re doing that, boil the cup of noodles about 7-8 minutes until al dente. Put aside.

Onion! I’m tearing up just looking at it. 

Like so. I’m sure you don’t need a visual of noodles boiling.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

3. Add the onion and cook 3 minutes.

4. Add the chopped garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.

5. Add the broth, can of tomatoes, kale, carrots, and celery and cover. Cook approximately 10 minutes or until kale is tender (I find it takes a little longer than 10 minutes.)

6. Add the noodles, drained beans, and the chili powder. Stir well and serve hot.

Forgive the image quality, it was taken with a phone.

Voila! You have a soup. I would recommend adding a little more broth, if you can, since it’s so chock full of vegetable goodness. You can also add or subtract the chili powder, based on your preferences (I would add chili powder to literally everything edible if I could). Enjoy!

Adventures in the Botanical Garden


So I found myself at the United States Botanical Garden this weekend! Sort of by accident. I initially set out to the National Gallery of Art to see an exhibit on marginalia in books (yeah, I am super fun at parties), but when I arrived, I was informed that it was not open on weekends. I would love for someone to explain to me how that makes any sense. I was already at the National Mall, so I decided to go to the Botanical Garden, since I had never been there.

I only had my camera phone with me, so I had to make do. I honestly feel like photographing flowers is a lot like shooting fish in a barrel, but whatever. In celebration of summer, here are some moments in the garden I thought were beautiful:

(Click any picture to make it bigger…they look better with details!)

A cactus flower and a peony. 

A monarch butterfly and some kind of…flower (I’m a photographer, not a botanist).

A happy little bumble bee and some kind of….other plant. 

The back of a leaf and some prickly plant thing.

A pretty flower and a honey bee. 

A rose (finally something I can identify!) and…something else.

Flowers growing out of the separation between the stones and a little bug on a flower (if anyone knows what this is, let me know!)

A honey bee going about his business and a leaf with thorns.

More of the same leaves and the top of some kind of plant.

Some colorful orchids and the craziest looking leaf I’ve ever seen.

Colorful flowers.

More pretty flowers.

I had a lot of fun taking these pictures and was very impressed by the patience of the bees. I had to get very close to take those pictures, and they didn’t mind at all….except for a particularly nosy bumblebee who tried to fly into my phone.