pierogi, kale and black bean soup


If you need a super easy dinner that requires about 20 whole minutes of your time, this soup is for you. Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner and providing you cook the pierogis in a separate pot or pan, works great as leftovers for lunch the next day.

For this recipe, you'll need:

4 cups of vegetable broth or stock
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium leek, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 can of crushed or diced tomatoes
1 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of kale, chopped
Olive oil
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
10-12 pierogis, fresh or frozen

Okay, let's start with the pierogis. Should you make your own? Probably. Did I? No. (Correction. Not THIS time. But here's where the game got changed.) Though I came this close (imagine me holding my fingers about one millimeter apart, if that's possible) when I came up empty-handed after three grocery stores (THREE) that failed to carry a cheese-less pierogi option. I know, I know: cheese-less? What am I, insane? For other reasons, yes, but my cute Colin has gone the direction of a nearly dairy-free life, and though this may be the only serious issue on which we disagree, I'm definitely down to cook according to this change. Except that the perogi-making world is not so keen on it. Though they offer gluten-free versions and soy-free versions, vegan was out of the question. Until, yes, we found buried in the Whole Foods freezer section, a potato-onion sort whose only offense was a little bit of egg to hold it all together: we went for it.

All that to say, next time: we're making these, hold the cheese, please. Weep.

Really though, a quick additional note about pierogis: if you want to pan-fry them (which you do, obviously), it works best to defrost them first. If you're going to give them a quick boil, it's totally okay to use them frozen. I did six each way, for variety's sake, of course.

Start by adding your olive oil, chopped carrot and leek to a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir for several minutes before adding your garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf and any additional spices you might want to use. I like this stuff for soups. It's got a little bit of everything. Twenty-one things, to be exact.

Once your veggies have cooked down, add your stock and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add your chopped kale, which will cook down almost immediately. While you let that continue to simmer, it's time to prepare your perogies in your desired fashion. Pan-frying is much quicker, providing you followed the defrosting tip. Boiling is of course less buttery and therefore a tad healthier. No judgement.

Once your pierogis are cooked, serve up your soup and top each bowl with 2-3 each. If you want to have one less dish to wash, you could totally cook them directly in the soup pot. I chose not to, however, to avoid them getting too mushy. You could always cook the exact amount you plan on using and then redo some more then following day. Either way you spin it, this soup was ultimately satisfying. Perfect for a day like tomorrow, when the high is going to be, say, 16 degrees. Weep again.