Vegetable Soup with Kale (Minestra di Kale)

My mother would often tell me "A good Minestrone solves everything."  I have always thought, it had more really to do with cleaning out one's refrigerator with items that really needed to be used up.   When it comes right down to it, minestrone can be made with any vegetable.   Some garlic, onion, tomato paste and some olive oil is always the basis for any good Minestrone. I have several versions here on my blog.  
 It is a very pretty, colorful dish, full of flavor.   The important thing to remember, when dealing with baby greens is to always add them during the last few minutes of cooking.   When your greens wilt, turn off you soup and get ready to serve.  This helps keep the vitamin content where it belongs, in the vegetable.  
  I will be pureeing the leftovers today, enough for 2 more cups.   All you need is about 45 minutes and about 15 minutes of prepping your vegetables.   More pictures will come later.  Buon Appetito!
Ingredients:  One small onion chopped
                     2 cloves of garlic minced
                     3 tablespoons of olive oil
                     2 tablespoons tomato paste 
                     2 teaspoons salt
                     1 black pepper
                     One zucchini chopped into small pieces
                     One carrot diced
                     One red potato diced (optional)
                     Optional 1/3 cup of white wine
                     4 cups of homemade broth.   You may use water if not                      available.  
                     Piece of the rind of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  Be sure and clean it first by running it under the water and scraping the back off some until cleaned.   You can discard this later in the soup or puree it along with the soup.   
Method:    Wash and dry about 5 oz of Baby kale and set aside
Heat your olive oil in a 4 quart soup Pot
Saute onion until translucent
Add the carrot diced
Add  garlic until fragrant
Add 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
Add tomato paste and mix.   Add the zucchini, diced potato and mix again.   Heat and mix until everything is well coated.  You may add a pinch more salt.   I like to add 1/3 cup of white wine and let it boil away.    This is an option as the alcohol will evaporate but leave behind wonderful flavor.   Add your broth and bring to a simmer.  Toss in the rind and cover your pot with the lid barely open.  Cook for about 45-minutes to an hour.   Remember the smaller you cut the vegetables, the faster it will cook. 
About 5 minutes before the end of your cooking time, add the greens and mix.  Adjust for salt.   Turn off your heat and let cool some.  Discard the rind and serve in bowls with Crusty bread.   Adjust for salt.   It's light and delicious and very healthy, I might add. 



This sounds perfect for the cold weather. I love kale, excited for another way to use it!
Newlywed Cook said…
I love kale too! Just used it tonight in a sauté and by the time I was done I did feel like I cooked it to death. This sounds so fresh and simple and I love that the vitamins all stay in the veggies!
This looks yummy Barbara. I made a kale soup in January after suffering the flu!It is posted on my wordpress site.

Vegetable minestre such as this are a mainstay in our kitchen! And, yes, they are a great way to clean out the fridge. Only recently did I put a rind from my Parmigiano-Reggiano in the soup - what a wonderul addition! Smart tip, Barbara, on washing the rind! ~ David
David, the Parmigiano Reggiano rind is a huge discussion in my house. I buy the rinds now at the Whole foods Market, in a container at a 1/4 of the price of a piece of Parmigiano. Its so funny to me, that they do this, since I find this piece as valuable as the rest. I look like a crazy cook buying them up all the time. heheh... but of course, I am.
Thank you Divainthekithen, Allesandra
and Newlywedcook, I hope you give it a try. So many variations to one, great, Minestrone.

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