The weather is warming up in NJ and it is absolutely beautiful outside. Soon enough it will be too hot to eat soup, which is a shame because so many good soup ingredients are just starting to become in season now. Last week we got parsnips and kale in our CSA box from Alstede Farms, and I just had to take the opportunity to make some soup before it got too hot to eat it.
This soup is just so delicious, simple, hearty, healthy, and wholesome. It has just a few ingredients and it is super easy to make. And it just so happened that Aldo got sick before I made the soup, so it was actually good timing to make soup!
On another note about springtime, last Friday I was planting my herbs outside (I have parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, and chives so far), and all of a sudden I saw something small moving around out of the corner of my eye. It was a little tiny baby bird that fell out of its nest!! I freaked out a little and called Aldo, and we tried to figure out what to do with it.
At first we wanted to see if its mom would come take care of it, so we carefully placed it in a little container in the bush and watched from inside our apartment. But after an hour or so we saw that mama bird wasn’t coming around, and we started reading more about baby birds on the internet. It turns out they need to be fed every half hour!! And since mama bird wasn’t coming to take care of it, we realized we would have to feed this tiny thing.
We looked up what to feed it, and made a paste of soaked dry cat food and egg (I know, it feels wrong to give a bird egg, but that’s what the internet said to do because it needs a high protein diet). We tried to feed this bird by making little balls of paste and putting them on a toothpick, but he wasn’t opening his mouth. Then we did more reading, and realized that baby birds need to be kept warm, so we placed his container on a heating pad. And all of a sudden he opened his mouth and was asking for food!!
We took care of this bird all weekend because by the time we found him all the wildlife rehab places and animal shelters around us were closed for the weekend. When we found him, he didn’t even have defined slits where his eyes would open, but by Sunday night he opened his eyes for the first time! And Monday morning his eyes were totally open and he was looking around and looking up at me. As the time went by, he got much better about eating and asked for food regularly and knew how to eat off a toothpick. It was such a special experience taking care of this baby bird for a whole weekend. But luckily, the Raptor Trust took him in on Monday morning. They said they had a bunch of baby birds that were turned in, so our little guy would have lots of friends!
Kale White Bean Vegetable Soup
Makes: 4 servings. Total time: 30 minutes.
- 2 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 medium parsnips, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
- 3 cups kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 14-oz can or jar or white beans, such as Great Northern, drained and rinsed
- 1 quart (4 cups) sodium free or low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- Salt & pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tablespoon salt with sodium free vegetable broth. Use less salt if using low-sodium vegetable broth.)
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Add the vegetable broth and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer.
2. Add the chopped carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped parsnips and cook for 10 minutes, or until the parsnips and carrots are both fork-tender and almost fully cooked. Taste the broth and add salt to taste.
3. Add the chopped kale and beans, stir well to fully cover the kale with soup liquid, and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Add more salt & pepper if you feel like it needs more seasoning.