Welcome to the 34th installment of Meatless Monday with Mindy!
The Holiday season is officially upon us! Happy Holidays! This season is always an exciting one with wonderful foods, visiting family and gift giving. It's easy to get caught up in eating indulgent foods and setting aside what know to be better options for us during this fattening food laden season.
Going meatless just one day a week during the holidays could help decrease your risk of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that the number of heart attacks increase by 5% during the holiday season. So, by all means, enjoy the seasonal foods that help make the holiday's special, but counter those rich laden meals with health boosting meatless meals in between those gatherings.
Here is one soup that is a complete meal, easy to prepare and it brings in the seasonal flavors with the addition of sweet potatoes. I have to give a hearty nod to Lorna Sass who authored the book 'Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way' where I got my inspiration for this soup. Farro is one of mine and my honey's favorite grains. The addition of this hearty grain makes this soup very satisfying.
Sweet Potato Farro and Kale Soup
1 cup farro, rinsed
2 Tb olive oil
1 large onion, diced ( about 2 cups)
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups of vegetable stock
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed ( or 1 1/2 cups)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
1 tsp salt
4 cups kale, tightly packed
1 tsp each, dried basil and parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste
To speed up the cooking time, add cold water to a large bowl and farro, enough to cover the farro. Set aside for about 15 minutes, while preparing your vegetables.
Heat 1 Tb of oil in a large dutch oven or heavy pot, over medium high heat. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery and sweet potato. Cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened and lightly browned, about 2 more minutes or so.
Cook vegetables just until they begin to brown, stirring often to prevent sticking.
Deglaze the pan with about one cup of vegetable stock, scraping pan to get any browned bits. Add remaining broth.
Add the softened farro...
...and the tomatoes.
Stir in the basil and parsley.
Bring this to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the rinsed beans.
Add the kale, stirring it in as you add it. This looks like a LOT of kale, but it cooks down dramatically.
Continue to cook until the kale it softens, about 15 minutes.
Season with pepper to taste and serve.
This soup is a complete meal, but the addition of garlic bread is always yummy!
I hope you enjoy this soup. If you make it, I'd love to hear what you think!