On Monday I promised a recipe to use your homemade vegetable stock, so I give you this soup. It is pretty simple, but chock full of vegetables and lots of different flavors. The addition of the tortellini makes it more filling and also fairly kid-friendly.
My husband doesn’t usually like minestrone, but he really enjoyed this soup. I think the dollop of pesto and drizzling of balsamic vinegar really punch up the flavor. Plus, swapping in kale and bell pepper for the usual spinach and zucchini helped with some of the textural objections he has to regular minestrone (i.e. mushiness).
Kale & Tortellini Minestrone (adapted from Food52.com)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
1 large onion, peeled & chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 (15 oz) can cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 cup kale, chopped
1 (16 oz) package of cheese tortellini
Grated parmesan cheese
In a large Dutch oven (or soup pot) heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until lightly browned. (If you want this to be vegetarian, just skip this step and heat all of the olive oil over medium heat and move on to the next step.)
Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté until softened–about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery & bell pepper and saute until slightly softened (about 3 minutes). Meanwhile, use kitchen shears or your hands to crush the canned tomatoes (you can do this in the can if you are using the shears, otherwise dump into a bowl to do this by hand).
Add the vegetable stock, chickpeas, & tomatoes (including their juices). Bring to a simmer. Taste and add salt as necessary.
Add the kale and tortellini and simmer until tender (around 5-7 minutes).
Serve in large bowls garnished with grated parmesan, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a dollop of pesto.
Time: 45 minutes