Monday, 13 May 2013

Pesto Kale Soup

Saturday morning, I hopped on a bus home to surprise my mom. Five hours later, I got a text from her asking if I was on my way home. Due to some small communication issues, my grandfather ended up telling her that I was on my way and plan sneak-home-for-mother's-day was ruined.

Surprising her would have been fun, but the most important part was that I still got to spend Mother's Day with my amazing mother, who I am so grateful to for being the most wonderful mother I could ask for. Thank you for raising me and feeding me and hugging me and comforting me and making me go for walks as a child even when I practically refused to leave the house and trying to stop me from plucking out ALL of my eyebrow hair in middle school and dealing with all of my messes and editing my papers and supporting me in everything that I do and for cheering me on at regattas and taking horrible pictures because you were too excited and in tears watching my race. And thank you for always being there to comfort me when I call because I'm upset, or because I need daily advice on school/life/how to put detergent in a top-loader... and for worrying about me a little bit too much. I love you. :)

For dinner on Mother's Day, I made a vegan dinner of pesto soup with squash gnocchi and vegan cheese, followed by a raw cashew cheesecake topped with a not-raw strawberry ginger glaze.

Today I am going to share the soup recipe, taken from Isa Chandra at Post Punk Kitchen. This is definitely a very "green" soup, but tasty if you like your greens like I do... Hearty, healthy, and my whole family went back for seconds. If I were to make this again I would add a lot more garlic and a lot more basil, but I will post it the way that I made it in case any of you are not avid garlic-devourers. I made it with water, but would recommend using broth to add a little more depth.


  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 4 cups of broth or water
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tbsp rosemary
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil (I used about 2 tbsp frozen + 1 tsp dry because that was what I had, but I think it needed a bit more)
  • 4 cups frozen kale
  • About 25 frozen gnocchi

1. Heat oil in a large pot, and chopped garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
2. Add cauliflower and sauté for a few minutes before adding 3 cups of water/broth, balsamic vinegar, salt and rosemary. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
3. Mix cornstarch and remaining broth in a cup, and add to soup with the basil.
4. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes and then blend. Use an immersion blender if you have one, otherwise blend in batches. Don't add too much soup at once or the blender WILL explode, splattering soup all over the counter/window/nearby plants.
5. Bring soup back to a simmer, and add frozen kale and gnocchi. Continue cooking until gnocchi is cooked through - about 8 minutes. Be careful stirring in the first few minutes, since the gnocchi may break.
6. Top with cheese (I tried to make vegan cashew cheese), poached eggs, or serve alone. Enjoy!

There you have it, pesto soup! I made butternut squash gnocchi which I will post the recipe for on another day, but this can be made with any frozen gnocchi, store-bought or homemade, squash or regular. Making gnocchi is fun though, so stay tuned for that recipe - and for the delicious cashew cheesecake. :)


  1. Aww even if it wasn't REALLY a surprise it's so sweet that you tried to make it happen! I'm sure your mom really appreciated it. This soup looks so good. Love the pesto addition!


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