100orLESS Soups: Mineste (Beans and Greens)

21 11 2009

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Few things warm you on a wintry day like a hot bowl of stick-to-your-ribs soup. Mineste, a variation on “Minestrone” or “the big soup,” fits the bill perfectly. You can make countless variations of this classic using whatever you have on hand: beans, rice, pasta, various stocks, veggies, etc., and can even take it in a totally non-Italian direction. Try it with collards, ham and black-eyed-peas for a savory cornbread accompaniment.


Mineste (Beans and Greens)

1 1/2oz pepperoni or other dry Italian sausage or meat
6 cloves garlic
1/4t crushed red pepper
8oz chopped kale
1/2t black pepper
1/2c dry white wine
2c water
4c chicken broth
15oz can cannellini beans, drained

Start with your sausage. I take it all the way down to a brunoise for maximum flavor spread.  Add it to a medium pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until most of the fat renders out and the bits are crispy.

At this point, you must make a decision.  Crispy garnish or softer flavor base?  If you choose the former, strain the pepperoni out with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.  If the latter, leave it all in the pan.  You may decide to add some salt later if reserving the meat for garnish as this is where a good bit of the soup’s seasoning comes from.

Mince your garlic and add it to the pan as well as the crushed red pepper.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until toasty.

Remove the thick ribs from the kale and chop the leaves into 1 inch pieces.  Throw it in the pan with the garlic, add the black pepper and wine, and stir to coat.  Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, stirring, until the greens have fully wilted.

Add your water, broth and beans and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes to an hour.  The longer you let it go, the more the beans will thicken it.

If you’ve reserved the pepperoni, add it to each serving as a garnish.  You may want to crisp it up for a few seconds in the microwave on a paper towel.  Otherwise, garnish with a crack of fresh black pepper.

(Recipe makes 8 8oz servings.)

Nutrition Facts for 1 8oz serving:

Calories: 99

Total Fat: 2.9g

Cholesterol: 10.3mg

Sodium: 850mg

Total Carbs: 6.1g

Dietary Fiber: 3.4g

Protein: 5.2g

(Nutritionals generated by SparkRecipes.)




One response

22 11 2009

I MUST try this! I sure can use a <100 calorie soup! I've never (would you believe) cooked kale, so that's an experiment waiting to happen. Will let you know how I like it.

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