As the weather is cooling down, you need food on the stove that will warm your entire family. Stews, roasts and soups are some of the most beautiful foods to look forward to during this season. And with the most gorgeous bunches of dark green kale being in-season at the moment, we feel you should put together a big bowl of minestrone for your loved ones, this week.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse that will not add a delicious rich flavour and colour to your soup, but also make your bones strong. Part of the cabbage family, this leafy green is rich in potassium, Vitamin A, K and has more calcium than a glass of full-cream milk. So if your kids want a cup of boiled kale for breakfast instead of a glass of milk, don’t fret (and tell us if that really happens!).
This soup also reheats and freezes very well, and also makes a delicious, warming lunch when taken to school or work in a thermos. Make a big batch on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll be set for at least four meals.
Preparation time: Approximately 1 hour.
3 tbsp ghee
4 rashers organic bacon, sliced
3 onions, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
rind from a piece of parmesan
8 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, or 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
6 cups organic chicken stock or broth
1 cup green cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup kale, central stems removed and finely shredded
400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
1 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup green beans, chopped
freshly ground pepper
4 tbsp basil or parsley, finely chopped
olive oil, to serve
finely grated parmesan, to serve
- Heat ghee in a large pot, then add bacon and fry until it turns brown.
- Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf and oregano, and cook slowly over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are all softened and have a nice brown, rich colour to them.
- Stir in parmesan rind, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock, bring to a slow boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add cabbage and kale and cook for another 15 minutes.
- After adding the borlotti, cannellini and green beans simmer gently for 15 more minutes, adding more stock or water if necessary.
- Season well with salt and pepper, stir through basil and parsley, and remove parmesan rind.
- Serve in wide, shallow bowls, sprinkled with parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.
- Replace the green beans with three diced zucchini.
- Add peas instead of green beans.
- Add some diced fennel.
- Leeks could replace onions, depending on seasonal availability.
- Add a spoonful of pesto on top for added flavour. Botanical Cuisine’s Kale Basil Pesto is amazingly delicious.