Sunday, March 28, 2010

Seven Times The Beta-Carotene Of Broccoli? Pass The Kale!

I woke up last weekend and it was snowing. I don’t mean a little - all day in fact. Far cry from the 65 degree weather we had the day before. Decided it was a good day to stay in and make soup. Here is one of my all time favorite and super easy soup recipes.
I did not have any cream to make it white but that was ok – it was really good without it and saved on the calories.

It’s also important from a flavor standpoint to make every step using the same pot. The blend of flavors is what makes this soup so good.

Did you notice that this soup includes Kale? I love Kale so much that I always put in double of what the recipe calls for.

Kale is rich in calcium, lutein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, E, and K. Did you know that Kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli? Kale is also rich in Vitamin C and has the natural occurring phytochemicals sulforaphane and indoles which research suggests may protect against cancer. Kale is part of the cabbage family.

Similar to spinach, it can be used just like spinach in most recipes. Like spinach, kale cooks way down. About 1 pound of kale will cook down to about 2 1/2 to 3 cups.

For most recipes (like this soup), add smaller pieces of kale during the last few minutes of cooking. For larger pieces add during the last 10 to 15 minutes.

Zuppa Toscana:

1 pound ground Italian Turkey Sausage – spicy and casings removed (only 10 grams of fat)

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 medium onion, diced

4 pieces of bacon, fried and crumbled (sorry – can’t reduce the fat in this because bacon gives it so much flavor so don’t use turkey bacon – use the real thing)

2 tsp garlic

10 cups chicken broth

Heavy cream or half and half (optional – I did not use)

3 large red potatoes – sliced paper thin

¼ bunch kale


Dice Bacon and fry. Drain excess grease from the pan and set aside.

Take the casing off the sausage and sauté with crushed red pepper in the soup pot.

Drain excess fat and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.

In the same pan, sauté onions and garlic for 15 minutes or until onions are soft. Add Bacon.

Mix in the homemade chicken broth. Bring to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until soft – usually about 10 minutes.

Add cream or half and half – just a little to change the color of the broth to white.

Stir in the sausage and the kale. Cook for a few more minutes.

Bon Appetit!