My friends up in the northern suburbs had been telling me for ages that I needed to try Butterbean Bistro, a little cafe in Gallatin that originally served all vegetarian and gluten-free foods. But Gallatin is nearly an hour's drive from my house, so it really wasn't practical for me to drive all the way out there for lunch.
Luckily, one day I was visiting one of my friends and she suggested we go (since I was already more than half-way there). I'm really glad I did. What a great place with amazing food. I was actually a bit skeptical of the day's soups (tomato carrot and kale, white bean and sweet potato), but my friend assured me that they'd be good. What the heck, right? I got the white bean and kale soup plus a panini known as the Hot Italian (almond chipotle roasted eggplant with sundried tomato pesto and whole milk mozzarella).
And then there were desserts and cake balls and cupcakes and oh my God, was that all actually gluten-free? How? Anyway, it was seriously good. Well worth the drive. And the owner is planning to move to a new location that's actually a little closer to Nashville and--get this--on a farm, so she'll have farm-fresh food. Amazing! It's no longer strictly vegetarian, but the vegetarian and vegan items still comprise a good portion of the menu. And I believe that all (maybe just most) of the breads are gluten-free and homemade. I'm really excited to visit again, particularly when I can look at a beautiful farm while enjoying my lunch.
Butterbean Bakery and Bistro
112 College Street
**new location opening soon! check the Butterbean Bistro Facebook page for more information**
I liked that kale soup so much (I still can't believe it) that I wanted to figure out how to make it myself. I found this recipe via Vegetarian Times and while it's not *quite* the same, it's really darn close (I think the recipe could use some garlic) and it's actually pretty good. I served it to some friends and to Mr. Eats and got thumbs up all around. But do use a good vegetable broth as a base. And think about some minced garlic added in with the onion in the first step.
White Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup
adapted (slightly) from Vegetarian Times (Amanda Mauser)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (1 cup)
3 cups coarsely chopped kale
1 small garnet sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 bay leaf
4 cups (low-sodium) vegetable broth
2 15.5-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
recommended: 1 tablespoon minced garlic
Heat oil in a large saucepan/soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often until onions are slightly caramelized.
Add kale, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in yam, paprika, curry powder, and bay leaf; cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant.
Add broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 30 minutes, or until kale and sweet potato are tender.
Puree 1 cup beans with 3/4 cup water in blender or food processor. Add puree and remaining beans to soup. Simmer 10 minutes, then stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with paprika.