According to the Silver Spoon, the Bible of Italian cooking, when it comes to minestrone, “almost every Italian region has its own exclusive recipe.” So why not the North Pole? This is my imagining of Santa’s Minestrone. A warm, filling bowl, perfect for when Santa needs a break. Using traditional Italian ingredients like lacinato kale and chickpeas, this satisfying soup is full of rich, smoky flavor and hearty ingredients: protein-rich chickpeas, brown rice macaroni, and anti-inflammatory kale. It’s quick and easy to make, incredibly satisfying and entirely vegan.
This lovely, filling bowl of Santa’s Minestrone is ideal for chilly winter nights and busy holiday schedules. Best of all, leftovers transform into an even tastier bowl the next day. I hope you enjoy this winter warmer as much as Santa does!
Looking for more holiday recipes? Take a peek here!
2 1/2 cups lacinato kale, plus extra for topping (chiffonade style)
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
coarse sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, toast the cumin seeds for 1 minute over moderate heat until fragrant. (Shake the pan to keep the seeds moving.)
Add the olive oil and shallot, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
Then add the diced garlic and saute for 30 seconds or so, before adding the sliced carrots, tomato paste, and smoked paprika. Stir well to coat the onion/garlic/carrot mixture in the paste and spices.
Add the fire roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring the minestrone to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and bring the soup down to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.
Now stir in the chickpeas and macaroni, and continue to simmer the soup for another 7-10 minutes.
Turn down the heat to low; remove the bay leaf and stir in the lacinato kale. Cook the kale until it begins to wilt. Stir in lemon juice and season the minestrone with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Ladle Santa’s Minestrone into bowls and top with more lacinato kale as desired. Enjoy!
As Santa’s Minestrone stands, the pasta will absorb the broth, turning this soup into more of a stew. If a thinner soup is what you’re after, add more broth (1/4 cup at a time) until the soup reaches your desired consistency.