I’ve heard of Kale on and off but it never really caught my attention enough for me to go out and try it. Then recently, on a whole foods paper bag, I saw that Kale had the highest ANDI score, a full 1000! Now you might ask, what is ANDI? ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.” This score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index was developed and patented by “Eat Right America”. Now bear in mind, being Whole foods, I am taking their word for it. You can get more information regarding ANDI here.
My family has been sick all of last week. First my son got sick, then me, then my mom and now H. What would be more soothing that a piping hot bowl of soup. So we ended up making soup after soup this entire week. This particular soup (with spinach instead of Kale) is a staple in my house. It takes about 15-20 mins to put together, and tastes absolutely divine! For some reason I thought Kale would have a stronger flavor than spinach but quite the contrary! It had a pretty mild flavor by itself and the first thing that hits you is the texture of the leaves itself. Quite chewy and crunchy! I could have cooked it for a bit longer, and made it all mushy, but I prefer my veggies a bit crunchy so I didn’t overcook it. I think I might add an extra clove of garlic next time, just to kick it up a notch, but with spinach keep the current amount of garlic. Also I kept this soup broth-y, but if you like your soup nice and dense, you can grind half the beans and tomato before adding it in.
Bean and Pasta Soup with Kale
Makes: 4 servings
Ready in: 20 minutes
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 6 cups vegetable broth or water (I used water)
- 1/2 cup small pasta (regular or glutenfree)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used EVOO)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. “Julienne” the onion and finely chop the garlic.
2. I cleaned the kale by breaking off the leaves from the thick stem for this recipe. I tried another version wherein, I chopped the hard stem too and used it. So that can be tried too.
3. Saute the garlic til fragrant. Add the onion to it and stir till it is translucent. If you are using the stem, then saute it with the onion so that you end up cooking it a bit too.
4. Now add the kale and saute this till it has wilted.
5. Depending on how much you want to cook it down you can saute it further. I sauteed the kale just until it had turned soft and limp.
6. Add all the beans, tomatoes, pasta, Italian seasoning, water, salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Heat at medium heat for about 6-8 minutes or until the pasta is done. Check the seasonings and adjust accordingly. If you want the kale to be mushier cook for longer. Enjoy!