Posts by tag: pasta

  • Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Posted on January 5, 2017

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!

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup |

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.

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup |

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!



Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Serves about 6

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (24.5 ounce) jar tomato Passata (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped and divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the butternut squash, onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. If the pot is getting dry, you can add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the vegetable broth and Passata. Use the water to rinse out the Passata jar and add it to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the ditalini according to the package instructions until it’s al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add the cannellini beans, sliced kale and 3/4 cups of the chopped parsley to the soup and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked ditalini and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the soup for salt and black pepper.
  5. Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Top with some of the reserved parsley and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
  6. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. The soup will thicken oven time. You can add additional vegetable broth to thin the soup when re-heating it, if desired.


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

  • Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange

Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange

Posted on February 4, 2016

Do you have a go-to comfort food?

I’ve been trying to decide on my favorite, but I’m having trouble narrowing it down to a single item. Sometimes I crave a buttery grilled cheese sandwich (made by my mom, of course). Other times I dream about warm chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. And then there are those days when only a big glass of red wine will do the trick. Real talk.

Foods with noodles also tend to take top billing when I’m in need of a little comforting. I guess there is something strangely appealing about loosing yourself in the act of twirling and slurping up a big bowl of noodles. It’s almost hypnotic in a way.

Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange |
This Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange has been my dinner of choice for the past few nights. It’s comforting, flavorful and so much healthier than typical take-out noodles. And I bet you can have it made and on the table in less time than it would take you to go pick something up or have something delivered. In fact, this recipe comes together SO QUICKLY that I highly recommend having all your ingredients prepped and nearby before you start cooking. You won’t have much of a chance to rummage through your cabinets or slice and dice vegetables once you get your skillet heated.

I’m sharing this Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. Be sure to scroll down and check out the links below to see what my blogging friend made this month. And skip the take-out!



Recipe adapted from my Sichuan Green Bean Noodle Stir Fry

Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange

Serves 2-4

Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange


  • 1/2 lb thin noodles (rice, spaghetti, etc.)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (can substitute white wine)
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 5 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 medium oranges, segmented


  1. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, orange juice, water, sugar, corn starch, red pepper flakes, black pepper, mustard and orange zest. Set aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oils are hot, add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the snap peas and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Stir the sauce to recombine everything. Then pour it over the vegetables in your skillet. Add the cooked noodles and scallions, tossing until everything is well coated and the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the orange segments and toss gently to combine. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the stir fry to serving dishes and enjoy immediately.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Baked Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups by Pumpkin ‘N Spice

30 Minute Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup by Kristine’s Kitchen

One Pot Pizza Gnocchi Pasta by Savory Nothings

30-Minute Cheesy Mexican Rice Skillet by Flavor the Moments

Skinny Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta by Bake. Eat. Repeat.

One Pot BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Rice by The Recipe Rebel

Kale Pesto Pasta with Tofu by She Likes Food

Garlic Butter Monte Cristo Pull-Apart Sliders by Whole and Heavenly Oven

Shrimp and Vodka Penne Pasta by My Kitchen Craze

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