Kale is one of those vegetables that I can’t seem to escape —its on every menu in the city, its featured in every recipe magazine, and its taking over all of the shelf space at Whole Foods. As much as I want to resist, I just can’t ignore the fact that its here to stay.
And its here to stay for very good reason — kale is loaded with phytonutrients, a broad range of vitamins, calcium, carotenoids and antioxidants. It packs more nutritional punch than any other green out there and its surprisingly versatile once you get used to it.
But this isn’t a health food blog so lets get to the part about deliciousness — This soup is packed full of flavor from fresh vegetables, rich chicken broth and perfect round morsels of meaty, savory goodness. The kale gets slightly wilted in the heat but maintains a little bit of bite and a vibrant green color. You’ll enjoy this so much you won’t even notice that its good for you. If you want to really up the health quotient of this recipe, you can always replace the pork with ground chicken in the meatballs.
- 8 cups of chicken broth, preferably home made
- 2 carrots, chopped into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 large bunch of kale, roughly chopped
- 1 cup of dry pasta, preferably shells or orecchiette
- for the meatballs:
- 1 pound of ground pork
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup of bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes until they are soft but have not begun to caramelize. Add garlic, italian seasoning and two large pinches of salt and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cooled onion mixture, ground pork, egg, bread crumbs and a pinch of salt. Add about ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Mix the ingredients together.
- Form the meat mixture into meatballs that are about ½ inch in diameter and set aside.
- In a large pot, over medium-high heat, sauté the carrots and celery with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes until the carrots begin to get soft. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to package instructions. Five minutes before the pasta should be done cooking, add the kale and the meatballs to the pot. Taste to check for seasoning and adjust as needed
- Remove from heat serve with crusty garlic bread.