Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque with Lacinato Kale and Ezekiel Croutons

I am a Pinterest nerd. While perusing Pinterest last weekend, I came across a recipe for Rustic Tomato Rice Kale Stew.  After drooling over the pictures and reading the ingredients, I quickly determined that I liked the jest of the recipe, I was just craving something more creamy...And without peas, because to be perfectly honest, I'm not a fan of peas.  But that's the fun part of cooking!  You can take a recipe and make it your own by adding different ingredients and spices.  Unlike baking, cooking isn't fussy; it's all about exploring flavors and experimenting with new recipes. Sometimes you flop, sometimes you hit a home run-And thankfully, this recipe was a home run.

The fire roasted tomatoes, chili powder, garlic and cayenne pepper give this bisque bold flavors with a nice kick while the lacinato kale, carrots, leeks, cashew cream, and Ezekiel bread croutons make this a hearty dish worthy of the title "comfort food."  

Lacinato Kale

The cashew cream allows this dish to be reminiscent of the most dreamy bisque without the nightmare of the cholesterol and calories in your traditional heavy cream and roux bisque. This is just another example of how you don't have to give up your favorite flavors or foods when you make healthy changes to your diet. 

Speaking of healthy, for those not familiar with lacinato kale (also called Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale), you may recognize it as part of Italian dishes such as minestrone and robillita.  The great part about this type of kale is its not only nutritious (it contains loads of vitamins A, K and C, as well as a healthy amount of calcium and iron) it also retains it's firm texture when cooked allowing it to be a hearty component of any dish that's lucky enough to include this amazing leafy green. 

The Ezekiel Croutons that I included are basically just Ezekiel bread English muffins that I sliced in half, topped with a sprinkle of shredded Daiya "mozzarella" and baked at 375 for about 10 minutes and finished with 2 minutes under the broiler. If you don't have any Daiya, you could also coat the bread with olive oil rubbed garlic and fry in a pan until crispy.  I use Ezekiel bread because it is really the only type of bread I don't react to.  It is made of sprouted grains so it is easier to digest than your conventional wheat-based bread, and it is also super nutritious as it is a complete protein and contains 18 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids . 

As we wind down the winter season, keep your friends and family happy with this belly-warming crowd-pleaser.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Eat Healthy, Stay Happy!

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque with Lacinato Kale
Serves 4

28oz can fire roasted tomatoes-pureed in a blender until smooth. 
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cashew cream (see below)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large red onion-diced
1 large carrot-peeled and sliced
1 leek-sliced white and partial green
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 heaping Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper. 

In a large soup pot, saute the onion, carrot and leek in the olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.  
Add the vegetable broth and pureed tomatoes to the sauteed vegetables along with the spices and stir until well mixed.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 15 minutes.  
Add the cashew cream and season with salt (about 1.5 tsp) and pepper to taste.  Continue to simmer on low for 10-12 minutes, or until heated through.  

Ladle into bowls and top with Ezekiel bread croutons.  

Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1Tbsp nutritional yeast
1tsp sea salt
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1cup raw cashews

Add the cashews and water to a blender.  Let soak for 20-30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.


Kenneth Noisewater said...

Oh yeah! I'm coming over for dinner and I'm slurping loudly and rudely.

Jenni said...

You're welcome anytime DKN...Slurp away!