This 5-2 fast day Monday I’m beginning the week with a lean and mean green vegetable soup. Figuratively speaking I’m killing two birds with one stone. An effective de-tox to rid my system of the excesses of a Valentine Day’s weekend, and a cleaning out of my vegetable crisper drawer.
Lately I’ve been mad about kale, buying bunches by the armload to convert into silky olive oil and lemon massaged salads or crispy oven baked chips. Last week purple kale made an appearance at the markets, and of course I couldn’t resist snapping it up to try as well. Rich in minerals, vitamins and anti oxidants, this Queen of Greens, renowned for its cancer busting and cholesterol lowering capabilities, has quickly assumed superfood status. Perhaps I went a little overboard at the markets last week. A veritable mountain of kale languishing washed and shredded in the refrigerator, providing the perfect inspiration, along with leeks, celery, zucchini, beans and peas, for a deliciously healthy green de-tox soup.
Lean And Mean Green Vegetable Soup
10 Cups (95 calories per cup )
1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)
1 onion, diced (46 calories)
2 leeks, white part only, finely chopped (108 calories)
2 medium stalks celery (12 calories)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped (73 calories)
2 cloves garlic, finely (16 calories)
2 zucchini, finely chopped (60 calories)
3 cups shredded kale (99 calories)
1 cup green beans, topped and tailed, sliced on the diagonal into 2cm lengths (34 calories)
1 cup baby peas, fresh or frozen (118 calories)
4 stalks parsley, finely chopped (2 calories)
2 litres (8 cups) stock, chicken or vegetable (100 calories)
the rind of a piece of parmesan cheese (50 calories)
25 g parmesan cheese, shaved, to serve (108 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
PLACE oil in a large, heavy based saucepan over medium heat.
ADD onion, leeks and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
ADD garlic. Cook until fragrant then add zucchini, kale, green beans and peas. Saute for 5 minutes until tender.
STIR in parsley,then add chicken or vegetable stock and parmesan rind.
BRING to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for twenty minutes.
REMOVE parmesan rind from the soup, ladle into bowls and garnish with shaved parmesan to serve.