Culinary Medicine: Recipe for Preventing Diabetes

More than 30 million people in the US have diabetes and 1 in 4 don’t know they have it. In Colorado, the number of people with diabetes was just over 400,000 in 2018.  Dr. Jennifer Bolton, a registered dietitian at Project Wellness 365, and professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver shared a recipe with us that is good for anyone with diabetes or those looking to prevent it.

Slow Cooker Kale, Tomato, and White Bean Soup


1 cup sliced celery stalks (around 2 stalks)

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2 clove garlic (minced)

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 can low-sodium cannellini beans

2 cups canned, no-salt-added, chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 1/2 – 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 package frozen kale

2 teaspoons lemon juice, to serve

1/2 cups fresh chopped parsley, to garnish


  1. Prepare the vegetables: peel and slice carrots; slice the celery stalks; peel and chop the yellow onion, and peel and mince the garlic.
  2. In a 3-quart (or larger) slow cooker with saute abilities or in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pan. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. If the mixture is in a saute pan, transfer to the slow cooker bowl.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients: cannellini beans, chopped tomatoes, rosemary, pepper, vegetable broth, and kale.
  4. Cover slow cooker pot with lid and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  5. Carefully remove 2 cups of the soup; let the mixture cool slightly and transfer to a food processor to puree. Add puree back into the soup, stirring to combine. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend some of the soup in the slow cooker but be very careful due to the heat.
  6. Before serving, stir in lemon juice into the soup. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Quick Tips

  • Don’t have time to saute the vegetables before adding to the slow cooker? Just increase the soup’s cooking time by a couple hours to ensure the vegetables are entirely softened.
  • Packing ingredients into Ziploc containers and freezing to pull out and plop into a slow cooker during a busy morning is a good technique to have on hand for weeknight dinners. If possible, freeze into circular blocks to fit perfectly into the slow cooker.
  • Chopping all the vegetables into the same size in any recipe is the best way to ensure that they all cook within the same time frame.

Thank you to Cook Street School of Culinary Arts for supporting this culinary medicine series and to Metropolitan State University for donating the food for this recipe.