Monthly Archives: January 2013

Flavours of Tuscany

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

When I was in Tuscany, Italy in the fall of 2007 kale was sold in many colours (black or purple) in the markets. Many restaurants served kale soup with lentils which was hardy and delicious with unsalted Tuscan bread. Many households make variations of this recipe with cooked ham or pancetta or low salt bacon as you want more flavour and less salt. I was able to acquire this recipe from a local restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a delicious soup that you can enjoy in the cold months of fall and winter and it’s healthy. It makes use of kale which is high in vitamin A and C and also makes good use of lentils which has a good balance of low GI carbohydrate, vegetable protein and fibre and its gluten free. This soup is suitable for people with diabetes, celiac and CVD (cardiovascular disease). It’s a perfect meal in a bowl since it has all the food groups and great for cold days.*For Vegetarian or vegan diet you can skip the pancetta

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

Prep time 10 min                       cooking time 50 min                       Serves 8 people (1 cup)

Ingredients

1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil

4 slices (100 g) pancetta (or low salt bacon or cooked ham)

1 cup (250 ml) chopped onion

1 cup (250 ml) chopped celery

1 cup (250 ml) chopped carrots

1 cup (250 ml) chopped fennel (optional)*

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic

2 large bay leafs

1 large cinnamon stick

1 cup (250 ml) dry lentils, washed and soaked over night

4 cups (1 L) low salt vegetable stock

2 large bunch kale, washed and chopped into ribbons

1 can of salt reduced canned tomatoes chopped with its liquid

2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste (low salt)

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tbsp (15 ml) dried rosemary)

½ tsp (2.5 ml) chilli flakes (desired amount, optional)*

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground black pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp (15 ml) dried thyme)

1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh Italian parsley

Salt to taste (may not need it since we have tomato paste and vegetable stock)

Low fat parmesan – for sprinkling on top

Method

1. Heat oil in a large stock pot and add pancetta (bacon or ham) and sweat them; add onions and sauté then add carrots, celery and fennel,  garlic and sauté then add bay leafs and cinnamon

2. Add washed lentils, kale and add stock and bring to a boil

3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, chilli flakes, ground pepper and cook in low heat for 45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked (don’t overcook the lentils)

4. Add vinegar, parsley and cook for another 10 min and adjust taste.

5. Serve soup in bowls and sprinkle with parmesan

Nutritional Value for 1 cup (250 ml): Calories 147g; Carbohydrates 21g; Fibre 6g; Sugar 4g; Protein 9g; Fat 4g; Cholesterol 4g; Sodium 320mg; Vitamin A 80%, Vitamin C 130%; Calcium 15%; Iron 15%

 

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