In some versions of Rapunzel, the vegetable that starts all the trouble is rapini – that bitter love child of broccoli and turnip, otherwise known as Broccoli Rabe.
Rapini is beloved of foodies and health enthusiasts alike.
LOVE IT FOR YOUR HEART – AND THE TASTE
This extra dark green brassica veg is a good source of vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, zinc and even some omega-3. Studies show that these nutrients are protective of the heart.
In this recipe, we’ve paired rapini with chickpeas (another good source of magnesium), purple-skinned sweet potato, herbs, tomatoes, garlic and onion.
It’s nourishing, balanced, and deeply satisfying.
THE KEY TO SATIATION IN A BOWL
One of the keys to satiation is eating from the full range of flavours your palate craves: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami.
Here we build in sweet by using natural, whole food sweetness: sweet onions and sweet potatoes.
We add a bit of sea salt to kick up the flavour, but because we use herbs and real garlic, there’s no need for super-salty bouillon or store-bought broth. (Good news for your blood pressure!)
Rapini provides the bitter, pleasantly, and the tomato brings in a bit of sour.
Umami, in case you were wondering, is a savoury taste that comes from protein-rich foods and cooked tomato. Think grilled meats, mushrooms, tamari or soy sauce and you’ll immediately conjure ‘umami’.
When you make this soup, you won’t miss the meat. Make it the star of your meal with a bit of grainy bread on the side.
Estimated prep time is about an hour, most of which is chopping. You can shorten the time required by using frozen, chopped onions, pre-crushed garlic and frozen herb cubes.
Or, put on some music, an audiobook or podcast and enjoy the sweet labour of making something beautiful with your hands.
Prep time: 1 hour
Serves: 8 – 10
- Olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large purple-skinned sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces*
- 1 large jar strained tomatoes or chopped tomatoes (2-3 cups)
- 1 bunch rapini, chopped finely (if possible, roughly separate out the stems from the leafy parts)
- 2 – 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 bunch italian parsley, chopped finely
- Several sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
- Several sprigs basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp paprika (smoked, optionally)
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
Note: If you can’t find purple-skinned sweet potatoes, use regular white potatoes.
- In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat.
- Add sweet onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown.
- Add garlic and paprika. Continue to stir.
- Add sweet potato and cook until tender.
- Stir in rapini stems and cook, stirring for a few minutes.
- Add strained or chopped tomatoes (strained tomatoes used in the soup pictured here).
- Stir in rapini leaves and heads (broccoli like florets) together with chopped oregano.
- Add water to cover greens.
- Cover pot with lid and heat until gently boiling.
- Stir in chickpeas, parsley and basil.
- Add salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes to taste.
Serve hot and enjoy!
If this is your first introduction to rapini, you should also try it grilled with garlic, olive oil, salt and chili or pepper. It makes a fantastic side dish and even a topper for pizza or a mix-in for pasta.
Need more magnesium in your life, and not getting enough in your diet? Try Natural Calm.
- Chatelaine article, Rapini: The amazing health benefits of the broccoli relative
- Heal With Food: Rapini: https://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/rapini-broccoli-rabe.php