Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Garlic Kale Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

This Garlic Kale Sweet Potato Soup Recipe was developed by the nutrition staff at Nutricare - St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI.

2 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb seasoning
6 cups vegetable broth
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
4 oz. kale, tough stems removed, chopped coursely (about 4 cups)
12 garlic cloves (I've added a few more but it's up to your taste)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and Italian herb seasoning; saute until
onions are soft and golden, about 6 minutes
2. Stir in broth, beans, sweet potatoes, and kale; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low
and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add garlic to simmer soup base. Simmer until sweet potatoes and greens are tender.
About 15 - 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 6 servings (1 1/2 cup each)

It is scrumptious with these ingredients just as written. I know I'll be making this soup over and over and over again. In addition, this soup recipe is very adaptable so many other ingredients could be added, such as canned tomatoes, left-over rice, tofu, other vegetables, etc.

This recipe freezes well, so make up a double batch to have some delicious and healthy food ready for your own home-made and inexpensive "fast food".

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Another Simple Supper - Rapini and Pasta

So many things to do during the holiday season, including shoveling our first snowfall of the season today. Here is one easy way to keep fueled with delicious and healthy foods, including a relative of kale called rapini, that are a snap to make for supper.

I purchased a large bunch of fresh, locally grown rapini (sometimes called broccolini) at our local farmers market this morning grown by Jonathan and Karlene Goetz of Riga, MI, in their hoop houses. I always look but usually pass by the tiny bunch of rapini at the grocery store, shipped from California, that sells for $3.99, but this enormous bunch was only $2.00. Karlene assured me that they would be showing up every week during the winter, and I assured her that I was a "regular" and would also show up to purchase fresh greens all winter long. Now that is a relationship that is truly "Made in Michigan!"

(Photo: Rapini, also known as broccolini)

• 6-8 ounces of whole wheat pasta (made by a local company called Pastabilities)
• 1/2 large bunch rapini, washed and cut into pieces (about 4 cups fresh)
• 3-4 roasted tomato halves (frozen last fall, thawed just a bit and cut into small pieces - canned, drained tomato pieces will also do here, saving the juice for something else)
• 1 small stalk of fresh rosemary - snip the leaves off
• 2 'ice cubes' of garlic scape pesto, thawed (my husband makes this recipe and freezes it for use all winter - any pesto will do)

1) steam the rapini for just a few minutes using a steamer basket - do not overcook
2) cook pasta until still al dente, drain well
3) combine cooked pasta in large serving bowl with pesto, tomato pieces, rapini, and rosemary leaves
4) toss to distribute all ingredients

Serve with additional freshly grated hard cheese (not really necessary), fresh crusty bread, and a salad, if desired. Also very good and filling all by itself. These amounts made enough for 2 very hearty servings with one serving left over for lunch tomorrow, which will be very tasty to eat either warmed up or chilled.

(Photo: Rapini and Pasta - the only ingredient I cannot see is the fresh rosemary leaves)

Where kale and delicious relatives like rapini are more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD