Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup

25 02 2013

Looking for ways to increase your calcium intake? Use fresh kale, it’s very rich in calcium! And an easy way to incorporate more kale into your diet is to use it in soups, such as this recipe, which used kale along with pasta and beans.

Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup

Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup

The following serves 4 (compliments of Food Network Magazine):

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or a few pinches of dried)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus 1 small piece rind
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (about 8 oz) small pasta, such as ditalini
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale, thawed and squeezed dry

Put the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, tomato paste, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 6 cups water and the parmesan rind. Increase the heat to high; cover and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale. Simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind, stir in half of the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the remaining cheese.

This Girl’s tips:

  • I used a little more chicken broth then what the recipe called for – 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups water
  • Rather than ditalini, I used whole wheat orzo
  • Also, rather than frozen kale, I used 1 bunch of fresh kale, chopped
  • Since fresh kale is on the tough side, I decided to cook that first – so once the broth came to a boil, I added the kale and the beans and cooked together on medium-high for 5-7 minutes. Then I added the orzo and cooked for 8 more minutes.
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