Vitamin Alphabet Soup

What’s better than a recipe with one leafy green?  A recipe with 3 leafy greens: savoy cabbage, swiss chard and spinach.  Leafy greens are packed with nutritional value while being very low in calories and also contain no fat or cholesterol.  The nutrients found in these greens produce a lovely medley of Vitamin Alphabet soup!  The most prevalent vitamins in these Superfoods are Vitamin A (important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision), Vitamin C (an antioxidant, needed for growth and repair of cartilage, bones, teeth and tissue), Vitamin E (an antioxidant, involved in immune function), and Vitamin K (supports bone health and known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot).  Savoy cabbage, swiss chard and spinach are also good sources of dietary fiber and protein.

-Kristen

Minestrone with Parmigiano-Reggiano (courtesy of Bobby Flay)

DSCN2812_Minestrone Soup_Blog2 2

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, cut into thin strips
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, finely sliced, blanched and drained
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, finely sliced
1 large waxy potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (such as Yukon Gold)
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 bouquet garni (1 sprig rosemary, 4 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf and 1 bunch parsley, tied together with kitchen twine)
3 cups cannellini beans (canned or cooked dried beans)
1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for topping

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, carrots and pancetta and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups water, the cabbage, chard, potato, chicken stock, tomatoes and bouquet garni. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes.

Place half of the beans (1 1/2 cups) in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the bean puree and the whole beans to the soup and simmer 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook 2 more minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cheese.

Per serving: Calories 275; Fat 13 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 21 mg; Sodium 263 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Fiber 7 g; Protein 12 g

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