Kale and Romanesco cabbage soup with chickpeas and croutons


Starter - Italy
by Stefano Callegaro Stefano Callegaro (2021)
Number of people 4
Preparation 40"
Nut-free Lactose-free/dairy-free Soy-free Vegetarian
  • 200 g kale
  • 200 g Romanesco cabbage in florets
  • 400 g pre-cooked chickpeas
  • 150 g of tomato purée
  • 100 ml of water
  • 4 slices of rye bread
  • 100 g crème fraîche
  • Rosemary, sage, thyme
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil
  • 1 potato

Cook the kale for 5 minutes in lots of salted boiling water. Cook the potato in a different saucepan. Remove the central part of the kale, which is too thick and not suitable for eating, then drain it and allow to cool in water and ice to maintain its bright colour. When the kale is thoroughly cooled, drain it again and, without pressing it, place it in a bowl for the following stage.

Heat a dash of olive oil in a saucepan with a clove of garlic and a sage leaf. Once everything is fragrant, add the chickpeas and then stirring constantly, brown them on the bottom for a few minutes. Add the tomato purée, water and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.

Romanesco cabbage
Cook the Romanesco cabbage florets in plenty of salted boiling water for 7 minutes before draining them and seasoning them with a drop of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron grill, lightly oil the bread with just a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and then add the rosemary leaves and place the bread on the grill with the rosemary touching the grid; toast well and then cut into square croutons.

Take the kale that has been previously blanched in the water. Together with a drizzle of olive oil and the cooked potato, mix everything together until you achieve a smooth consistency.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and add salt and pepper.
Just before serving, heat the cream for one minute in the microwave.
Place a spoonful of chickpeas in the centre of the plate and then pour the kale cream all around them. Artfully distribute the Romanesco cabbage florets and decorate with a few dollops of crème fraîche and rosemary bread croutons.

Did you know?

Aquafaba (bean water) is the water in which chickpeas are stored when you buy them in tins or jars. The liquid contains the same properties as egg white (about 90% water and 10% vegetable protein), thereby making it an excellent cooking alternative for chocolate mousse, mayonnaise and other dishes.

Kale and Romanesco cabbage soup with chickpeas and croutons

Nutritional advice

by Olimpia Vincentini, Phd
ISS (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) / Italian National Institute of Health

Kale is seen as a true superfood because of its strong antioxidant properties and rich vitamin content, especially vitamin C and minerals. Like all green leafy vegetables, it helps regulate blood cholesterol levels and has an important anti-inflammatory effect, especially on the stomach lining.
It is recommended to steam the vegetables to avoid losing all the nutritional qualities. Overall, this is a balanced meal providing a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fibre. Adding spices means it’s possible to flavour the dish while limiting the addition of oil and salt. For a lighter version and for those people who suffer from dairy allergies, you can omit the crème fraîche from this recipe.
This vegetarian recipe offers a fully balanced protein meal since it combines cereals (rye bread) and legumes (chickpeas).