Spanish White Bean Soup with Napa Cabbage, Avocado and Lime


This is a good soup to have on a cold winter day or just if you need to clean out the veggie drawer of your refrigerator.  

Personally, I like to add the Napa cabbage for texture, substance and because it's so good for you.  Cabbage is low in calories and high in A and C vitamins.  Napa cabbage is also relatively high in absorbable calcium.  

I like to make a big pot, leave it on the stove all day long so anyone can help themselves at any time to a satisfying and full-of-goodness bowl of soup!  


Ingredients:
1/2 white Onion – chopped
Celery – 4 ribs chopped
Carrot – 3 med/large carrots chopped
Whole head of Napa cabbage chopped
1 lemon
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 – 15 oz can cannellini beans
2 – 32 oz boxes of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
½ cup whole wheat orzo
Teaspoon Smoked paprika
½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon Cumin
Avocado
Lime

Directions:
Chop onion, celery, carrot and sauté in olive oil in bottom of soup pot.  Add red pepper flake, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  Saute until onions start to sweat and carrots are slightly tender.  Add can of tomatoes and juice of 1 lemon.  Stir in both boxes of chicken stock – after empty each box of stock, fill back up with water and add water from boxes (basically rinsing out chicken stock with water).  This essentially will be a total of 4 boxes of liquid in soup.  Drain and rinse beans – smash half of beans with a fork and then add both whole and smashed beans to soup.  Once soup comes up to a simmer, add ½ cup of whole wheat orzo.  Stir for a couple of minutes and then add chopped head of Napa cabbage and shopped cilantro. 

To serve: 
Ladle soup into bowl, top with chopped avocado, squeeze of lime and toasted crusty bread for dunking! 

Suggestions:
You can also add chicken to the soup if you’d like some meat protein.  Add sweet corn for a “southwest” take on the soup.