Tag Archives: Vegetables

Christmas Kale Minestrone Soup

It’s that time of the year again. I don’t know about you, but one of the best parts of the year is the weeks that lead up to Christmas. There’s a lot of excitement in anticipation for Christmas; the environment is beaming with white snow and Christmas lights. You also have an excuse to throw holiday parties!

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In spirit of the season,  I decided to get these Christmas-themed pasta I’ve been eyeing on for quite a while now. Initially, I was waiting to get it after Christmas when it goes on sale, and use it for next Christmas. But apparently, I don’t really have that much patience…

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Since I’ve recently been into soups because of the cold weather, here’s a minestrone soup post featuring one of my all-time favorite veggies, kale. It’s sweet, tangy, and hearty from the beans and vegetables used.

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Put your hands up like you just don’t kale.

– Ricelessasian

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Christmas Minestrone Kale Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)
Adapted from Laura Vitale

Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients according to your preference. You can add whatever vegetables you want; I just used what I had at home. Meatballs would also be a great addition to this soup.

Ingredients

2/3  cup diced carrots
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 can (796ml) diced tomatoes
4-5 cups of chopped kale
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
~1 cup pasta
1-2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking

Directions

  1. In a cooking pot, cook carrot, celery, and onion with some cooking oil over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions have softened and become translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook vegetables for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and diced tomatoes. Allow the soup to come to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the kale. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the kale has wilted. Add water if the soup reduces too much.
  3. Add the black beans and the pasta. Continue to heat the soup until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season soup with salt and pepper, and finish with some chopped fresh parsley. Serve with more parsley for garnish and parmesan cheese.

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Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta

We’re still blogging!

Matchachoco and I are currently taking a break from baking (calm before the storm?). In the meantime, do enjoy this roasted vegetable pesto pasta :).

-Ricelessasian

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Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta (serves 4-5)

Ingredients

1 Japanese eggplant
1 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic bulb
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

~300 g spaghetti
6 tbsp. basil pesto
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

Roast vegetables

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and onion into even pieces. Peel garlic cloves but do not chop.
  3. In a bowl, combine zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, 1-2 tbsp. cooking oil, and salt and pepper. Mix together until the vegetables are coated with the cooking oil. Repeat step in separate bowl with onion and grape tomatoes.
  4. Lay out zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in one even layer over two baking trays. Laying out the vegetables in one even layer will allow the vegetables to roast properly. Repeat step in a separate baking tray with onion and grape tomatoes.
  5. Roast zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in the oven for about 30 minutes. Roast onion and grape tomatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Rotate baking tray and toss vegetables mid-way for even roasting.

Prepare pasta

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is still hot, mix in basil pesto, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Top pasta with roasted vegetables. If the pesto sauce is a little bit dry, add a little bit of the starchy cooking water from the pasta.

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After roasting:
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There’s something so special about the taste of roasted vegetables. The taste is not the same if you stir fry or boil veggies. By roasting vegetables, the flavours intensify and the veggies taste sweet because of caramelization. Not to mention, caramelization is my favourite non-enzymatic browning :).

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