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Kale Minestrone
    Serves 6
        This winter soup is one of many hearty winter soups that you find throughout Italy. Make it a day ahead for the best flavor. If it’s too cold even for kale in your neck of the woods, substitute 3/4 pound of cabbage for the kale and use it all in Step 1.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
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1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
1 can (14 ounces) tomatoes, seeded and chopped, with juice
1/4 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 pound (1 heaped cup) dried white beans, soaked in water to cover for 6 hours or overnight and drained
6 cups water
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1 Parmesan rind
  1 bay leaf
1/2 cup rice (long grain or Arborio)
1/2 cup soup pasta (such as elbow macaroni, small shells, or tubetti) or Arborio rice
1 large bunch kale (about 3/4 pound), stemmed and coarsely chopped
  freshly ground pepper
1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan (1/4 cup)

1.Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is fragrant and the vegetables tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in half the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute or so, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit. Add the cabbage, stir together for a couple of minutes, until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the drained beans, water, the Parmesan rind and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender.

2. Add the remaining chopped garlic, salt (2 teaspoons or more), the rice, and the kale, cover partially, and continue to simmer another 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are thoroughly cooked and the soup very fragrant. Add pepper, taste, and adjust salt. Remove the Parmesan rind.

3. Serve, topping each bowl with a spoonful of Parmesan.



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