Nom, nom ... with added chicken meatballs.
Okay, so this New Hampshire hick is settling in for the winter months with her stash of Christmas cook books and her every present bouquet of ... kale. Yup. Kale. It's what's for dinner during the winter up here in the wilds of New England - green, cheap, plentiful, healthy, and ever present, mounded up in the produce section at the local markets.
Kale has come into its own over the past few years, so you can imagine my surprise when trendy Brooklyn hipster daughter, Kate told me during a Christmas cooking and cocktail session that kale was not going to be 'trending' in 2015. GAWD, does that mean it will get even cheaper ?!?!? Maybe it was the red wine talkin', but she DID say that we'd see far less kale in the blogosphere and on restaurant menus in the new year ... which got me wondering what superfood green will replace the curly leafed nod to health.
I haven't wondered too long, though. Instead, I leafed through my new cookbook by Julia Mueller and came upon a minestrone soup that looks like it is made for this latest cold snap that has come into our neck of the woods. So, tonight, we have Minestrone with Quinoa Soup and small boules of artisan bread, plenty of red wine, and Parmesan for sprinkling. I'm liking this take on minestrone, as it has another superfood soaking up the broth. Quinoa. I've had a jar of quinoa hanging around and thought it pretty darn smart for Julia Mueller to make a GF soup out of minestrone by switching out the ditalini pasta for those little curliques of quinoa. Damn clever, indeed! I guess I won't feel so bad about dragging that artisan bread through the broth, knowing that the quinoa is saving me from complete gluten overload. I know. I'm being completely flippant about my nutritional health and my round little wheat belly. Oh well. Tomorrow, it's kale salad and no glutens, but today? I'm livin'for the soup and bread!
Minestrone Soup with Quinoa
a Let Them Eat Kale! recipe
Serves 6 – 8
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, small dice
2 carrots, peeled, small dice
3 stalks celery, washed, small dice
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large red skin or Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, chopped medium dice (skins on)
3 c. fresh green beans, tipped and sliced into ½ inch pieces
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp ground sage
2- 14.5 oz cans tomatoes in their juices, chopped
6 c. chicken broth
¾ c. quinoa, rinsed and soaked for a few minutes, drained and fluffed
1 rind parmesan cheese
1- 14 oz. can cannellini, drained and rinsed
1 large handful of kale leaves, washed, stems cut out, coarsely chopped to ribbons
1 tsp. Kosher salt (if your broth is not salted, otherwise salt to taste)
Grated Parmesan cheese
for sprinkling on servings of soup
Artisan bread for dunking
Red wine for sipping along with the soup
Making the Soup:
- Place the olive oil in a large stockpot and bring the heat up under it.
- Add the chopped onions and sweat them until they glisten and are fragrant.
- Add the carrots, celery, and potato and toss to coat with oil and onion juices. Cook for about five minutes.
- Add the garlic mince, the green beans, and the spices. Stir well and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken broth, quinoa, and the Parmesan rind. Stir well and bring to a soft bubbling boil.
- Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are softened.
- Add the cannellini beans and the prepped kale. Stir things together, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the kale leaves are wilted and soft.
- Add salt to taste. Remove the parmesan rind before serving up the soup.
- Toast the artisan bread and have the grated cheese by the dishes for sprinkling.