the appetizer:

Learn how to add grains to your diet with The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook by Judith Finlayson, with recipes like Tailgaters' Favorite Stew, Black Sticky Rice Pudding (Vegan Friendly), and Wheat Berry Minestrone with Leafy Greens (Vegan Friendly).

Cookbook Profile

Wheat Berry Minestrone with Leafy Greens (Vegan Friendly)

Makes 6 main-course servings


Here's a hearty meal in a bowl that makes a delicious lunch or light supper any time of the year. Wheat berries combined with legumes and leafy greens, such as kale or Swiss chard, make a soup that is equally delicious and nutritious, containing a very high amount of dietary fiber, among other nutrients. I like to serve this soup for supper, accompanied by whole-grain bread and a simple green salad. Leftovers make an excellent second meal, a great snack, or a superb welcome home for hungry travelers.

In a food processor, combine beans with 1 cup (250 mL) of the stock and pur´┐Że until smooth. Set aside.

In a large saucepan or a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until celery is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wheat berries, tomatoes with juice, water, reserved bean mixture and remaining 3 cups (750 mL) of the stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until wheat berries are almost tender, about 1 hour. Stir in kale. Cover and cook until kale and wheat berries are tender, about 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls. Float 1 or 2 crostini in each bowl, if using. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan, if using, and drizzle with olive oil.



For this quantity of beans, soak and cook 1 cup (250 mL) dried beans.

For enhanced flavor, if you have a boot of Parmesan, the tough rind that is left over from a whole piece, add it to the soup along with the tomatoes.

To make crostini
Brush 8 to 10 baguette slices with olive oil on both sides. Toast under preheated broiler, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

When using leafy greens such as kale or Swiss chard, be sure to remove the tough stems before chopping. Also, since they can be quite gritty pay extra attention when washing. I always swish the leaves around in a basin of lukewarm water to remove any grit, then rinse thoroughly under cold running water before using.

Unless you have a stove with a true simmer, after reducing the heat to low, I recommend placing a heat diffuser under the pot to prevent the mixture from boiling. This device also helps to ensure the grains will cook evenly and prevents hot spots, which might cause scorching, from forming. Heat diffusers are available at kitchen supply and hardware stores and are made to work on gas or electric stoves.

Nutrients per serving
Calories: 278; Protein: 12.8 g; Carbohydrates: 53.9 g; Fat (Total): 3.9 g; Saturated Fat: 0.6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1.8 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 12.0 g; Sodium: 85 mg; Cholesterol: 0 mg

Excellent source of vitamins A and C, thiamine, folacin, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper and selenium. Good source of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), niacin, riboflavin, calcium and zinc. Source of pantothenic acid. Contains a very high amount dietary fiber.


Buy The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook: 150 Recipes for Healthy Living


The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook:
150 Recipes for Healthy Living


This page created April 2008