Tomatoes are one of the most abundant sources of the antioxidant lycopene. Even though we often say to enjoy whole, unprocessed foods, tomatoes provide an exception due to the fact that lycopene is more easily absorbed in the body when it is found in the paste form (you still get the benefit when snacking on cherry tomatoes, don’t worry!). This recipe allows you to capitalize on that fact while also providing other powerhouses like kale and olive oil.
1 TBSP OLIVE OIL
1 MEDIUM ONION, CHOPPED
1 LARGE CARROT, CHOPPED
1 CELERY RIB, CHOPPED
2 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
1 14 OUNCE CAN TOMATOES
6 CUPS WATER
1 TBSP TOMOATO PASTE
1 MEDIUM YUKON GOLD POTATO, DICED
1/2 LB. KALE, STEMMED, CHOPPED (MAKES ~ 4 CUPS)
1 CAN WHITE BEANS, RINSED AND DRAINED
SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE
GRATED PARMESAN FOR TOPPING
BOUQUET GARNI WITH BAY LEAF, 2 SPRIGS PARSLEY AND THYME
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion, carrot, and celery and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and juice from the can, add another pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly.
Add the water, tomato paste, oregano, potato, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, add the bouquet garni, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are just about tender.
Add the kale and simmer another 10 minutes, until the kale and potatoes are tender and the soup is fragrant. Taste, adjust salt, and add pepper. Stir in the beans and heat through for 5 minutes. Serve, sprinkling some Parmesan over each bowl.