Prep Time: ~20 minutes; Cook Time: ~60 minutes; Yield: Serves 6-8
- 3 cups white beans
- 1 chopped onion
- ½c. bread crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s pumpkin corn bread crumbs…it’s what I had handy!)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ¼c. nutritional yeast (I like Bragg’s)
- 3 tbl. olive oil
- 1 tbl. tamari
- 1 tsp. each of thyme, basil, oregano, and no-salt, and lemon zest
- 1 tbl. lemon juice
- 2-3 chopped carrots
- 2-3 ribs of celery, chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 c. orzo pasta
- 9c. low sodium vegetable broth
- 5c. chopped kale
- ¼c. chopped basil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Now, first things first, you have to make the white bean balls. This is something I had never done before, but it was actually really fun! In a large mixing bowl, mash 3 cups (two cans) white beans until they form a paste-like texture. You really have to get in there and use your elbow grease. Slowly mix in ¼ c. chopped onion, 1/2 c. bread crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s pumpkin corn bread crumbs…it’s what I had handy!), 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 c. nutritional yeast (I like Bragg’s), 2 tbl. olive oil, 1 tbl. tamari, 1 tsp. each of thyme, basil, oregano, and no-salt, and lemon zest.
Once it’s all mixed together, roll table spoon size balls using your hands. So I have to admit that this is the point where I made a mistake. I mixed all of the ingredients except the bread crumbs and rolled all twenty balls. Then I realized what I had done so I had the pleasure of remixing the ingredients with the bread crumbs and re-rolling twenty bean balls. Sheesh! Anyway, once the balls are rolled, bake for 15 minutes, turn the balls over, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown. While the balls are cooking, it’s time to work on the soup.
The soup base is pretty standard. Heat 1 tbl. olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the rest of the chopped onion (3/4 c.), 2-3 chopped carrots, and 2-3 ribs of celery. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes, or until the veggies start to brown and soften. Add in 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 c. orzo pasta and cook for another minute. Then begin to gently pour in 9 c. low sodium vegetable broth while stirring. Let all of the ingredients all simmer together for about 10-15 minutes, until the pasta and veggies are cooked. Then turn off the heat, add 5c. chopped kale, 1/4c. chopped basil, and a splash of the lemon juice.
Once your soup and your bean balls are both done cooking, it’s time to assemble your hearty soup dish! Simply place a few bean balls in the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle the soup over the bean balls. Garnish with your choice of non-dairy cheese (I used mozzarella Daiya). Mangia Mangia!