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.
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 sourdough bread, and there you go – a complete meal. If you need more protein, top this soup with a fried egg. Delicious.
The recipe list may look long, but this is a quick soup to make, 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
30 minutes or less
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
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
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)
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 broth 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 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.