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Monday, June 21, 2010

Mixed Greens & Pasta Soup

For the mixed leafy greens choose any combination of mustard, kale, collard, or swiss chard. Greens have an incredible amount of vitamins and minerals, are very low in fat and calories and taste great.

2 TB Olive Oil
1 small  Onion, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 pound Mixed Leafy Greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
3 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock diluted with 3 cups water
2 tsp Salt, or more to taste
3/4 cup Small Pasta Shapes (such as riso or stars), or 1 cup Cooked Rice
1 tsp Sherry Vinegar, more to taste
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
6 TB grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat and cook onions until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped greens to the pot, one handful at a time, and let them wilt, stirring constantly.

Add the diluted stock and the salt and slowly bring to a simmer, then cook until the greens are just soft (but not darkened or faded), about 10 minutes.

While the greens are cooking, cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until the soup is done.

Coarsely shred the greens with a handheld immersion blender. Some will become puréed, but mostly they should be shredded. If you don't have an immersion blender, a food processor will do a better job than a stand blender. Transfer half the greens and liquid to a food processor and carefully purée until the greens are finely chopped. Reserve in a mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining greens and liquid. Wipe out the soup pot and return the greens and liquid to it.

Bring the soup to a simmer, and stir in the cooked pasta and 1 teaspoon vinegar. If the pasta clumps together (it probably will), let it warm and stir it again to break it up. Season with pepper. Taste, and add more salt or vinegar if needed.

To serve, ladle the soup into heated shallow bowls and garnish with a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Each serving (approx): 192 calories; 5 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 mg. cholesterol; 890 mg. sodium.

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