Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ditalini Vegetable Soup with Kale and Barley

Have you ever stood in an aisle at the grocery store and been inspired to come up with a new recipe simply based on one ingredient alone?  Something sparks an idea and you are suddenly back-tracking through aisles you've already shopped through just to get the right ingredients for a new creation that suddenly popped into your brain!

That was me this week.  The location was the pasta aisle.  The item to "blame" was ditalini.

Ditalini is a pasta shaped like a very small tube.  It's super tiny.  My kids loved the "cuteness" of it when I showed them the box at the store!

The box had a recipe for a soup on the back.  I kind of took that and ran with it ... adding kale and changing a few other things.  I love kale in my favorite Olive Garden soup, so I was determined to sneak some into this recipe.

It turned out very yummy and quite the healthful soup!

Try it.  I'm sure it'll become a family favorite and another recipe in your soup arsenal!


1 cup ditalini
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
1 medium onion, chopped finely
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling on soup at the end
3 quarts chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1/2 cup barley
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
A couple of large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped or torn
Salt and pepper
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish
Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)
Begin by cooking garlic and onion in olive oil in a large pot for five minutes on low heat.  Do not brown.

Add stock (or broth) and barley.  Allow to simmer on medium heat for about thirty minutes.  Cover during the last fifteen minutes of this step.

Add in carrots, celery, kale and potatoes.  Increase to medium-high heat and cover.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for ten minutes.  Add in pasta.  Cook an additional five minutes, uncovered.

Allow the soup to rest for about fifteen minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and garnish with cheese.  Sprinkle on scallions, if desired.
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