It has been super (read that as souper!) cold here in Sydney over the past few weeks and soup has been the best way I have found to help warm up my freezing bones!
I have some gorgeous new soup recipes that are really quick and easy to make, are incredibly healthy for you (naturally!) and taste absolutely delicious. There has been a constant stream of them coming out of my kitchen over the past few weeks as they make a fantastic lunch, a great warming snack (there’s nothing better than a mug of steaming hot soup mmm!) and a terrific lightning fast dinner.
Everyone is talking about kale right now and how it is so healthy for you, but some people aren’t sure how to cook it.
Well this soup is a really delicious way to serve it
So what makes kale so exceptional? A so called nutritional superstar in the pretty competitive superstar-vegetable-world?
Well are you ready, because the list is rather long…..
- First of all, some of kale’s health benefits are linked to it’s high concentration, thus being an excellent source of the antioxidant Vitamins A, C and K and many different phytonutrients.
- Carotenoids and flavonoids are other antioxidants associated with many of kales reported anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
- Kale is a good source of the minerals calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and copper. It is high in fibre, and the type of fibre that is reported to be able to lower cholesterol levels, and kale even contains some omega 3 fats.
- Kale is a member of the Brassica family (also known as cruciferous vegetables, which includes cabbage and broccoli). They are of special interest as they contain a number of anti-cancer chemicals called glucosinolates which block the growth of certain types of cancer cells, boost DNA repair and help cells to detox. Woo hoo! We all need to eat a Brassica EVERY DAY!!
- And when it comes to cancer, research has shown kale to reduce the risk of bowel and breast cancer, but the risk of bladder, prostate and ovarian cancer have all been found to decrease in relationship to routine intake of kale.
As you can see, kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
So everybody has to try this soup. Not only as it will it help you eat kale, but it will help you eat other vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables AND amazingly healthy cannellini beans, which are another nutritional superstar. But the information on them will have to wait for another day…
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 stalks celery (200g), finely chopped (approx. 1¾ cups)
- 2 medium carrots (170g), finely chopped (approx. 1½ cups)
- 2 medium zucchinis (200g), finely chopped (approx. 1¾ cups)
- 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked cannellini beans)
- 2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 small bunch of kale, stems (and veins, if desired) removed, leaves washed and roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, (optional)
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add oil and onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, celery, carrot and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the beans, water and stock, and bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and using a stick blender, puree until smooth.
- Stir in kale, return to the stove and simmer until the kale is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with parmesan, if desired.
Note: For the easiest way to prepare kale, see my notes in the recipe for Kale Chips