Friday, November 11, 2011

Minestrone Soup and Kale Chips Recipe

Minestrone Soup and Kale Chips Recipe                                  
 Written by WindyCityKnits Recommended by  Shadow Jewels and BPR Designs

Okay folks, today we have a two-for-one! Two great recipes that go perfectly together.

First up is Rhonda from ShadowJewels with her Delicious Minestrone Soup! 

Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Okay, I confess that I never use a recipe or measure anything to make soup, I just throw things in until it turns out right. Everyone is asking me for this recipe, so today I am writing it all down as I go. It's a hearty, nutritious soup that is perfect for warming you up this time of year.
This is for an extra large pot of soup. It freezes well in serving size containers for a quick, healthy lunch. The best part about making soup yourself instead of using canned (besides how good it tastes), is the wholesome lack of unpronounceable ingredients. No carageenan or sodium guanylate in here!

Carrots for better eyesight
1/2 stick butter (or 1/4 cup olive oil)
1 bunch carrots with tops on
3 stalks of celery
2 leeks
2 large 30 oz cans kidney beans
2 large 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
12 cups water
better than bouillon vegetable base
Italian herbs
5 small potatoes, chopped
2 cups chopped green beans
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
1-1/2 cups chopped zucchini
3 cups whole wheat pasta shells

Wash and dice the carrots, celery, and leeks.
Do not be afraid of leeks if you have never cooked with them! They look like giant green onions, and add a rich flavor. Cut off the very bottom, and a few inches of the top. Cut off the white part in one chunk, and dice that. Now peel the layers of the green part, throwing away the outer dark green layer. Rinse each layer well. Dice all of the lovely light green parts. See, it was easy!

Now add the butter to your giant soup pot, and melt it over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are happily married and the vegetables are translucent (about 10 minutes).

Add the 2 cans of kidney beans and 2 cans of diced tomatoes, liquid and all. Stir in 12 cups of water. Add 2 Tablespoons of Italian herbs, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 heaping teaspoons of "better than bouillon". This is your secret weapon. It comes in a glass jar, in the soup aisle right next to those nasty bouillon cubes. Don't measure it, just add 2 big glops. If your soup tastes too watery at the end, add more.
Cook over high heat until it comes to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Peel and chop the potatoes and chop the zucchini while it cooks.

Add the potatoes and green beans. Simmer another 30 minutes.
Add the celery leaves, zucchini, and pasta. Simmer another 30 minutes or until the pasta is done. Let it sit for an hour or so before serving. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Yum!

And up next is Beth from BPR DESIGNS with a fantastic accompaniment to our soup, Kale Chips!

* 1 pound bunch of dinosaur kale (or whatever kale you can find!)

* 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

* Any seasoning you’d like: Old Bay Seasoning, Grill Seasoning, smoky paprika, chili flakes, sea salt and coarse black pepper. (I love garlic salt on them!)

 Great source of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K & Vitamin A
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Thoroughly clean and dry kale leaves. Remove the fiberous center stalk from the kale by tearing the leaves away from the stalk. The center stalk will bake up very tough, that’s why we remove it.

Place kale leaves on one or two baking sheets. Leaves should be in a single layer for the most part. Sprinkle with olive oil and seasoning. Toss with your hands. Add more seasoning if you’d like. (I actually pile them up on the cookie sheet because they lose a lot of volume as they bake, but be sure you have a little oil and seasoning on the whole pile)

Place pan(s) in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet(s) and toss leaves with tongs. Return to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes. after 30 minutes of baking, turn the oven off and allow the leaves to dry in the cooling oven for another 30 to 45 minutes. They’ll be crisp and ready to snack on in no time!
Store kale chips in an airtight bag. They’ll last for several days.

We hope you will give these recipes a try and let us know how yummy they are!

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  1. Sounds so yummy! Thanks a lot for sharing - must try this season! :)

  2. One of our favorite soup of soups!
    And how nice to have kale chips to go along ~ got to try it :D

  3. soup sounds wonderful!! A perfect meal for a cold winter day!


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