Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rosemary Kale Soup


This is, in my opinion, the very best way to eat kale. I love this soup. And it has kale in it! Who would have thought? Greens are really good when you know how to prepare them. Thank you, Justin, for discovering this recipe. By the way, I'm really into vegetable broth. Some day I'd like to make my own, but for now my favorite is the Rapunzel brand of vegetable bouillon cubes from Whole Foods. Sure, chicken broth has its place, but vegetable broth is perfect in certain soups. In this Kale Soup, it shines.

I just have to tell you about some of the wonderful health benefits of this soup. (It's tasty, too, so don't be fooled by the healthiness of it).

Kale: High in fiber, Vitamin A, Calcium, and beta-carotene (an anti-oxididant that may help prevent cancer and heart disease).

Cannellini Beans: High in fiber, protein, loaded with thiamine (good for your brain), iron (good for your blood), and folate (keeps your arteries clear).

Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans): High in fiber, protein, folic acid (helps your red blood cells), and manganese (does a lot of good things!).

Rosemary: May have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Garlic and Onions: Oh, what an amazing combination. There are just too many good things about them to name but they are tasty and good for you.

A note about complete proteins - although Cannellini beans, chickpeas, and many other beans and legumes are high in protein, they don't make complete proteins like meat and dairy do. In order to get a complete protein, you need to pair them with whole grains. You probably already do this without realizing: beans and toast, peanut butter sandwich, hummus and pita bread, etc. Match this soup with a fresh batch of Rosemary Parmesan Foccacia, and there you go - a complete meal.

I got this recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, and the only changes I made were to substitute the black beans with chickpeas, use less cannellini beans, and double the rosemary. I felt that chickpeas are a better match with Cannellini beans and kale. The recipe list may look long, but this is a quick soup to make (30 minutes, says the magazine), so it's good for weeknights. Fresh rosemary is best (so fragrant and tasty!) but if you use dried, use half as much and add it earlier in the recipe. As a general rule, add dried herbs early, and fresh herbs last.

Rosemary Kale Soup
Makes about 6 servings

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 minced garlic cloves
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
4 cups water
7 cups (about 1 bunch) washed, chopped kale, with the thick stems cut off
1 can or 15 ounces Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can or 15 ounces chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
salt

Directions:
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion, carrot, and celery and saute for 6 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; cook for 1 minute. Stir in water, vegetable bouillon cubes, and kale. (If you're using dried rosemary, add it now.) Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender. Add beans and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and fresh rosemary.

Printable Recipe

Other posts you may enjoy:

Hearty Broccoli Soup

Kale Potato Soup

3 comments:

LynnaeEtta said...

This looks delicious, Becky! It's definitely going on my list for food to make this week. I *love* cannellini beans...and a good recipe for kale is hard to find!

I really like the Rapunzel brand; I looked for it on my last trip to the co-op near my house, but had to go with a German brand (Seitenbacher) instead. It was really good in a chicken & rice soup (I'll post it soon), so no complaints, but I did like Rapunzel!

LynnaeEtta said...

Becky, I just tried this out and it was delicious. Since I can't do bread, I added some brown rice and extra water before the kale and let it sit for about 45 minutes for the rice to cook; it turned out really well! It's not as soupy as I'd like, but the flavors are fantastic.

Thanks for sharing!

Becky Smith Kuk said...

Good, I'm glad you liked it, Lynnae! You would probably have to double the amount of water and vegetable bouillon to get it to still be soupy when you add rice, but stews are good too.