I Ate Kale and I Liked It: Kale, Pinto and Quinoa Soup 

kale.jpgKale: The earthy, green vegetable that is all the rage in the healthy food trend. I have tried kale raw on salads and baked in the oven, and honestly, I don’t like the taste of it. But I have continued to experiment with this ‘trendy’ and healthy ingredient, and finally have had success, and surprisingly kale is the featured ingredient. Without further ado: Kale, Pinto and Quinoa Soup. This soup screams healthy, and although it is healthy, it is surprisingly tasty and filling. My husband, 15-year-old son, and 14-year-old daughter had second and third helpings for dinner last night.final product

A side note: I am also making an effort to monitor sodium intake of my family. Please note that the recipe uses low sodium broth as well as minimal salt in the preparing of this soup.

I never used to read labels until recently. Look at the difference of these broths:

Although the second broth reads a ‘fat free’ food, (which is technically true)–but look at the sodium content: the difference is 55mg versus 490mg. The sodium content in the second broth is astronomical. As a home chef I have learned to look at the labels, not only for fat content, but also for sodium. I encourage you to do the same in your own kitchens.

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into large chunks including leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, rinsed, chopped and stems removed
  • 2 quarts of broth (I used beef broth, no salt added)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cup pinto beans (I used dried and followed quick cook directions on bag)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. If using dry beans, cook beans according to package directions. I start the ‘quick cook’ method in the morning and then begin cooking my beans about an hour before I begin prepping soup.  (You can also soak beans overnight or use canned beans.)
  2. In a large soup pot, heat coconut oil on medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery. give it a good stir. Coconut oil heats quickly, stir pot regularly and cook for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Pour in broth. Add in bay leaves and rosemary and salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile in a small pot, cook red quinoa separately.red quinoa
  6. After 30 minutes, add pinto beans and chopped kale to soup pot. kale and beans addedGive a good stir and cover again. Cook for an additional 15-30 minutes until kale is tender.
  7. Kale and beans absorb the liquid from the broth, so you may need to add in more broth, depending on how much broth is preferred.

To serve: Scoop a few spoonfuls of quinoa into a soup bowl and top with a ladleful of soup. Mix and enjoy. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, a scoop of sour cream or a few drops of red hot. Serve with crusty bread and a salad.soup in fiestaware

Honestly, I am surprised how delicious this soup was. I have finally found a way to cook kale that is flavorful, and my family enjoyed this soup too.

Share your tips on ways to prepare kale that make it more appetizing. I look forward to comments and suggestions.final product

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