Friday, 8 August 2014

Kale in Minestrone Soup - Lunch on "K" Day

It's lunchtime on "K" day and I'm using KALE

I made Kale in Minestrone Soup. This is from one of Jamie Oliver's recipes and has to be one of my favourite recipes using Kale. I omitted the bacon (for less fat), and yet it still remains oh so full of flavour and body with all the hearty vegetables in it. Yummy!

Servings: 4


50 g small pasta shells
1 potato, diced 
3 small red onions, diced
2 small carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
150 g Kale 
4 slices thinly sliced smoked bacon 
1 small bunch fresh italian parsley
2 x 400 g cans diced tomatoes
750 ml chicken stock
20 g Parmesan cheese (optional)
Olive oil
sea salt
black pepper


1. Peel and mince the garlic. Thinly slice the parsley stalks and reserve the leaves. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Peel the onions, scrub the carrots and potato and trim the celery. Chop it all into 1/2-inch dice, adding the onion, carrot and celery to the same bowl as the garlic and keep the potato seperate.
3. Put a large pot on medium heat and add a little lug of olive oil. Finely chop the pancetta.
4. Once pot is hot, add the chopped pancetta and fry gently for a couple of minutes, or until turning golden and starting to smell fantastic.
5. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and parsley stalks to the pot. Cook slowly for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables have softened and are just starting to caramelize.
6. Add the canned tomatoes, diced potato and 2 1/2 cups of broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and slowly bring everything to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer over a low heat. Put a lid on slightly askew and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
8. Thoroughly wash the kale in plenty of cold running water then drain well in a colander. Roughly chop (or rip apart) leaves, getting rid of any tough bits of stalk.
9. Add the pasta, kale and 1/2 cup more broth to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and bring back to a boil.
10. Reduce to a simmer over a low heat and cook for a final 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through and the kale is tender.
11. Roughly chop the reserved parsley leaves. Check consistency of your soup and if you think it could be a bit looser, add some more broth. Have a taste and tweak with a bit of salt and pepper.
12. Lastly, I promise, stir through the chopped parsley then ladle the soup into bowls. Add a bit of parmesan cheese in each bowl, if you like.



Kale is loaded with Vitamin K and is one of the healthiest vegetables around, when cooked properly. It is recommended to steam kale for no longer than 5 minutes. 

It's nutrient richness stands out in three categories - antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and anti-cancer nutrients. You can count on kale to provide valuable cardiovascular support in terms of its cholesterol-lowering ability.

I have to inform you of the fact that when kale is eaten on a very regular basis, and especially in raw form, it can cause iodine-related problems, leading to thyroid disease. To avoid this, make sure you are getting enough iodine from different foods and also incorporate selenium, iron and Vitamin A to further boost your bodies capabilities of keeping hormone levels balanced and avoid an under active thyroid. 

Just like certain other SUPER FOODS - eat Kale in MODERATION, NOT EVERY DAY  

Kale, steamed
(1 cup)

Vitamin K  1, 062 mcg - WOW!
Vitamin A  885.36 mcg
Vitamin C  53.3 mg
Manganese  0.54 mg
Copper  0.20 mg
Vitamin B6  0.18 mg
Fiber  2.60 g
Calcium  93.6 mg
Potassium  296.4 mg
Vitamin E  1.11 mg
Vitamin B2  0.09 mg
Iron  1.17 mg
Magnesium  23.4 mg
Vitamin B1  0.07 mg
Omega-3 fats  0.13 g
Phosphorous  36.4 mg
Protein  2.47 g
Folate  16.9 mcg
Vitamin B3  0.65 mg

That's a lot of NUTRIENTS!

Are you incorporating Kale into your diet?

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