Lemony soup with white beans, kale and pasta

Lemony soup with white beans, kale and pastaThe days have grown hot and sticky here. I have all the windows open, and the fan on the highest setting to try and get a bit of relief.

“Why are you posting a soup recipe then?!” you ask.

Excellent question. And the answer is that this soup is too good, and too versatile to hold back from you. It’s delicious and filling, but the flavours are fresh and tangy, making it a perfect summer dinner meal. It’s also great in the winter, providing comfort and a promise of spring and all things green.

I tweaked a couple things in this recipe. It calls for dried beans to be cooked along with other ingredients, but I usually cook a huge batch of dried beans at once and then freeze them, so I just added some from my freezer, which significantly cut down the cooking time (and subsequently the amount of time my stove was on! Win-win!). This method makes it easy to substitute in a can of cooked beans too. If you’re working from dry, follow the source link to the original recipe for cooking instructions. The second thing I changed was to add a Parmesan rind to the soup as it was cooking, instead of grated Parmesan. I remove the rind at the end, before serving, and I’ve found this method infuses the soup with incredible flavour. It’s still delicious without Parmesan if you’re vegan or if dairy just isn’t your thing but if you’re okay with cheese, I really recommend the rind method.

Lemony soup with white beans, kale and pasta

Source: Flourishing Foodie

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 small white potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1.5 cups of cooked white beans (equivalent to 1 can of white beans)
  • 1 Parmesan rind (mine was about 2 inches long, but this is not an exact science – work with what you’ve got)
  • 1 cup small pasta (I used macaroni this time, butĀ  have also had great success with ditalini and orzo)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, fry onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add potato and fry for another minute. Add the vegetable stock, lemon juice, white beans and Parmesan rind, and cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the kale and cook for another few minutes, until the kale and pasta are both tender. You may need to add a bit more water if a lot of yours has evaporated during the cooking process*. This is the beauty of this soup: you can make it as thick or thin as you like, and both are delicious.
  3. Remove the Parmesan rind, serve and enjoy!

*If you store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer (which you should! It’s such a good leftover meal!), you might have to add more water or stock, as the pasta will absorb some of the liquid and expand over time.

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Caramelized Cauliflower x 2

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It has been ridiculously cold in Ottawa lately (-40. -40!). So cold I’ve been reluctant to leave my house. So cold I cry when I got outside, and then the tears freeze. It’s obviously time for comfort food and for me, that’s caramelized cauliflower.

I have two recipes for you today, both which begin by roasting a head of cauliflower. Slice it thinly (1/2 cm wide), toss it with a bit of olive oil and salt, lay it on a parchment-paper covered baking sheet (the parchment paper isn’t necessary but helps with clean-up) and roast it for about 30 minutes at 450 degree F. You can actually stop right there too, and just eat the plain roasted cauliflower as a side – it’s DELICIOUS. But if you’re feeling like something more, these recipes are for you.

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Caramelized Cauliflower Soup
Source: Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, roasted as per above directions
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of bread torn into 1″ pieces
  • ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. While the cauliflower roasts, head 2 tsp of olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute shallot and garlic for about five minutes to soften. Add vegetable broth, dried thyme and white balsamic vinegar. Warm through.
  2. When the cauliflower is roasted, add it to to the broth and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  3. To make the croutons, heat the remaining olive oil in a small pan. Add the torn bread, pepper and saute for 5-8 minutes until the bread is crispy and the edges are browned.
  4. Serve the soup topped with croutons, hazelnuts, fresh thyme leaves and grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

DSC00755Caramelized Cauliflower Risotto
Source: The Vegetarian Collection (Canadian Living)

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, roasted as per above directions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. While the cauliflower roasts, bring broth and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Fry shallot, garlic and salt, stirring occasionally, until shallot and garlic are softened (about five minutes).
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat and toast the grains. Add wine and cook, stirring, until no liquid remains (about one minute).
  4. Add the broth mixture a 1/2 cup at the time. Stir after each mixture until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more. This should take about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cauliflower, cheese and parsley.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Herb Noodles in Coconut Milk

I have a very deep love of coconut milk. I love the taste and how it adds a creamy texture to dishes that other non-dairy milks and creams don’t. It’s great in soups, curries, drinks, baked goods… you name it.

I don’t exactly know what this dish is: soup? Pasta? It’s got a bit too much liquid to call it a pasta dish, but not enough to be a soup. Either way, it’s delicious and simple, and all the fresh herbs in it make it the perfect thing for a summer meal.

Herb Noodles in Coconut Milk

Source: 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients

  • 4 oz of small pasta (thin noodles, macaroni, or my favourite, animal shapes!)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder (you can use more if you’d like)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 oz tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • pinch of crushed red chile peppers (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil and add the pasta. Cook for as long as the directions on the package tell you to.
  2. In another medium-size pot in the meantime, heat the coconut milk and curry over medium heat, stirring to combine. Add the veggie broth and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the tofu.
  3. Once the pasta is done, drain it (if you used brown rice pasta, like I did, I also recommend you rinse it with hot water. I find that it gets too sticky and lumps together otherwise, especially the next day when you’re eating leftovers!) and add it to the coconut milk mixture.
  4. Right before serving, add the fresh herbs and stir to combine.
  5. Add a pinch of crushed red chile peppers to each bowl to serve, and enjoy!

Food Blog Recipe Round-Up!

ImageI’ve been cooking and baking a lot from food blogs lately, and wanted to share some of those successes! First is this Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage from the Post Punk Kitchen, which is so delicious and hardy. A good soup those April evenings that are still on the cool side.

Next is this delicious Broccoli Soup with Lemon Chive Cream from Orangette. It’s a bit lighter, and a great use for all the leeks I kept getting in my organics box!

If you haven’t visited Oh She Glows yet, go now! This Creamy Avocado Pasta is quick, delicious and versatile. You can make it just like this, or throw in some sauteed or roasted veggies.

Speaking of delicious vegan recipes, this pesto risotto with roasted zucchini is to die for.

For a delicious snack that’s quite filling and easy to make (although it takes awhile), these candied almonds are perfect. The original recipe calls for walnuts, uses eggs and is made in the oven. I used almonds, added a bit of oil instead of egg and made them in a skillet in the stove top.

Last, but certainly not least, these Szechuan Noodles! So easy and good! Annie’s Eats always provides winning recipes.

Happy cooking!

Leek Soup with Dill Oil

I am a huuuuuuuge soup fan, year-round. In the winter I love thick, almost-stews filled with hearty veggies. In the summer, it’s chilled cucumber and avocado soups, pureed extra smooth. Fall is the time for soups with squash. And the spring? Green, nutty, DELICIOUS soups like this one from 101 Cookbooks.

Leek Soup with Dill Oil

Source: 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients

  • a handful of fresh dill
  • 9 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3.5 pounds of leeks
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • finely ground sea salt
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6.5 cups of vegetable stock
  • toasted almond slices, for topping
  • grated cheese (Gruyere, Parmesan), for topping (if you’re not going the vegan route)

Directions

  1. In a small food processor, combine dill and olive oil untilĀ  it’s very creamy. Set aside.
  2. Trim the roots and dark green parts off the leeks, wash very well (leeks are notorious for harbouring dirt). Chop.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and combine it with 5 tbsp of the oil. When the mixture is bubbling, add the leeks, a couple pinches of salt, and stir well. Cover for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and garlic; cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very soft. Add the vegetable stock and puree with an immersion blender to the desired consistency (I made mine very creamy). Heat through and top with almonds, cheese and dill oil. Enjoy!