This post was originally published here on February 4, 2015. I’ve since updated the recipe slightly and added new (and better!) photos. Enjoy!
And just like that, we’re right smack into the middle of January. Seriously, how does this time go by so fast? I feel like I say that as we approach the end of every day/month/year. But it just seems to be true. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
So how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a damn good thing that I didn’t make any regarding food, because whoa nelly would I have broken them all this weekend. Shattered them, actually.
I don’t know what got into me. Well, I know exactly what got into me: a couple of bags of Valentine’s Day candy. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about Valentine’s Day candy, but it’s my favorite and I can’t ever seem to resist it. And with the stores pushing the Holiday’s earlier and earlier each year, I’m doomed from the start of January until mid-February.
Side note: My friend Christina wrote a little Valentine’s Day candy review this past week and it’s a fun read, if you’re into that sort of thing.
So it’s back to soups and smoothies for me for the next couple of days. And this Kale and Apple Soup is one I’ll be enjoying on the regular.
Now, don’t go and immediately write this soup off as some weird dieter recipe. Sure, it’s packed full of greens and it can certainly be labeled “healthy”. But it also has a little bacon, which gives it a rich, luscious taste. And it’s not at all thin, watery and one-dimensional. Those are not good characteristics for soup, or otherwise. Nope. This Kale and Apple Soup has body, a touch of sweetness from some maple syrup and a little bit of heat from a heavy sprinkling of red and black pepper flakes to finish it off. It’s a recipe that I’ve been making for a couple years now. And it’s one I always go back too when I feel the need to be a little bit kinder to my body.
The soup recipe itself is dairy free. Although I do love adding a little drizzle of heavy cream on top. But you can certainly skip that part, if you prefer. No big deal!
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is off to a wonderful start for everyone.
I must say, this first week of January has been pretty good to me. I’m feeling more rested and relaxed than usual. And I may have even detected a small “spring in my step” the other day when I was out walking my dog. I guess I was anxious (and long overdue) for a bit of a reset.
In general, I always love this time of year. Christmas is safely behind us (remember that I’m a big Scrooge!). And everything seems sparkly and fresh. And while I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions (I find they cause me unnecessary stress and anxiety), I was prompted by a friend to set three words of intention for 2017, and I decided to give that a go. It’s a seemingly simple task, but it did force me to pause and think about what I would like to achieve going forward into the New Year.
So my three words for 2017 are: create, peace, present.
What are your intentions for 2017? If you have three words you’d like to set, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
So…let’s talk about this Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup. YOU GUYS it’s so freaking good. I made a giant pot last week and I didn’t share it with anyone. I greedily ate it all by myself. And I reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to cook for several nights. I was in heaven.
This soup is full to the brim with delicious seasonal vegetables, nourishing ingredients and all the feel good vibes you can handle. It’s a great way to kick off the New Year. And trust me, you won’t feel deprived one bit. I’m totally digging it. And I know you will be too.
To make this minestrone soup recipe all cozy for winter, I used butternut squash and fennel in place of the usual carrots and celery. Then I added in a couple big handfuls of dark, leafy kale and lots of fresh herbs to keep things bright. I stuck with the more traditional ditalini and white beans, but you could certainly use any small-ish pasta and/or beans that you like. It’s all good in my book.
This recipe calls for a large jar of tomato Passata, which is an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of the seeds and skins. Look for tomato Passata in your grocery store, located next to the other jarred/canned tomato products. Canned tomato purée is cooked and usually not strained, so it’s not an exact substitute. But you could probably use it in a pinch, if necessary. The other option would be to purchase canned whole tomatoes, then run them through your food processor or blender and strain them to achieve a smooth consistency.
This soup recipe itself is dairy free. I do like to shred some Parmesan cheese on top to finish the dish for serving. However, if you’re going dairy free, just leave that part out. Easy peasy!
I’m sharing this Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup recipe today as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. That’s right! You can make this gorgeous, satisfying soup in only 30 minutes! Just be sure to use a big pot for increased surface area and faster cooking. And keep the vegetables small and uniform so they cook up quickly and evenly. And before you go, check out the links below to see the other #30MinuteThursday recipes created by some of my blogging buddies!
Fajita Gnocchi Skillet with Avocado Salsa from She Likes Food
Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini from Pumpkin N’ Spice
30-Minute Chicken with Greek Avgolemono Sauce from Flavor The Moments
One Pot BBQ Chicken Chili Mac from The Recipe Rebel
30-Minute Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo from My Kitchen Craze
Spiralized Veggie Thai Noodle Bowls from Sweet Peas and Saffron