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.
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.
Warming Minestrone Soup with Kale
- 3 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 4 rashers bacon , finely sliced
- 3 onions , finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery , diced
- 3 carrots , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 2 tsp dried oregano ,or dried Italian herb mix
- 1 parmesan cheese rind ,optional
- 2 tins diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken bone broth , or stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup green cabbage , finely shredded
- 1 cup kale , finely shredded
- 1 tin borlotti beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 tin cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup green beans , chopped
- 4 tbsp basil or parsley ,finely chopped
- olive oil , to serve
- parmesan , finely grated, to serve
- Heat butter in a large pot, add bacon and fry gently until it is lightly browned.
- 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 very soft.
- Stir in parmesan rind, tomatoes, tomato paste, broth and water. 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 broth 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.
- Make a vegetarian version of this soup by leaving out the bacon and parmesan and using olive oil instead of butter and veggie stock in place of chicken broth.
- 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 and the Naked Byron Pestos are both very delicious.