Wednesday 4 March 2015

Tomato and Kale Soup with Pistachios, Cornflake Balladinas and a week of meals

It is a while since I have shared a week of meals and talked about how leftovers fill our dinner plates.  Today I have a delicious tomato and kale soup for you that was a perfect way to use food that would have otherwise have gone to waste. I also want to make some notes on inspiration for making nut balls, also known by Sylvia as cornflake balladinas, because it used leftovers so brilliantly.

So let's start with a week of meals.  Amazingly leftovers were used in all but one day:

Saturday: Leftover sausage rolls and vegie sticks from picnic
Sunday: Tomato vegetable stew with alphabet pasta
Monday: Leftover stew
Tuesday: Tofu nuggets (and some leftover stew)
Wednesday: Spaghetti with "cornflake balladinas" and tomato sauce
Thursday: Tomato and kale soup with pistachios
Friday: Leftover soup

I didn't take a photo of the pasta stew but it was memorable for my efforts in making Sylvia eat it.  On the first night she just picked out as much pasta as possible without eating any of the vegetables.  So I was pleasantly surprised on the second night when she fell in love with it.  She ate two small bowls of it and asked me to make more.  Then I reheated some on the Tuesday for her to have with her tofu nuggets and she refused to eat it because it wasn't hot enough.  I was running out the door to a school information evening while my mum looked after her and didn't have the energy to pursue it.

One of Sylvia's favourite recipes is tofu nuggets.  I make them occasionally and they are always welcomed.  The recipe calls for the tofu to be dipped in three bowls: milk, flour and cornflakes.  I hate having to throw out the remnants from these bowls at the end.  On the day in question I threw all the mixture together and added almond meal until it was firm enough.

I probably could have baked it up as a nut roast but instead I went for vegan meatballs.  Sylvia called them cornflake balladinas.  If she eats them I am happy to call them whatever she wants!

I rolled the mixture into balls and shallow-fried them.  Then I made a simple tomato sauce (like this one) with some carrots.  For E and me, I tossed the cornflake balladinas into the sauce and placed them on the spaghetti.  Sylvia had hers in a separate bowl to the pasta and was encouraged to eat the cornflake balladinas as well as the pasta and sauce.  She enjoyed slurping the pasta and mixed some tomato sauce with it.  Under sufferance she ate some cornflake balladinas.  Strange how such familiar ingredients from the tofu nuggets become some strange when served in a different way. 

We are making slow but good progress with pushing her to eat more of our food.  However she still loves her plates of vegies.  And while I was really pleased she ate some of the cornflake balladinas, I worry she had less vegies than on her usual dinner.  After pushing her in a few meals earlier in the week I gave her a break from adult dinners when I made this soup.  It also gave me a break from trying to make food kid-friendly.

The soup was one I had admired Joanne making on Eats Well with Others.  I particularly loved the addition of pistachios because I had a surplus of them after Christmas.  Soups are indeed an excellent opportunities to use up leftovers.  I threw in some leftover pasta sauce and some cherry tomatoes that Sylvia had chosen in the supermarket and rejected at home.  I also added some pumpkin just because I worried the soup would be too thin.

I loved this soup.  It tasted of healthy vegetables and yet full of flavour too.  The pistachios added great texture.  It was just the sort of dish I wanted to come home to that night after swimming lessons.  Or any day of the week!

I am sharing this soup with all these events:

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: NCR Taco salad and Sydney Road Street Party 2014
Two years ago: WW Watermelon Curry and CC Green Dal
Three years ago: Butterless Butter Cake
Four years ago: PPN Spring Rolls, Salad, Changes and CNY
Five years ago: Each Peach - baby blocks and ice cream that rocks
Six years ago: Hospital food and mum’s cooking
Seven years ago: WTSIM...Slow Food, Tambo Salad

Tomato and kale soup with pistachios
Adapted from Eats Well with Others
serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt (I used French lavender salt)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp besan (chickpea flour) 
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 x 400g tins of diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
600g pumpkin, peeled trimmed and diced
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped

Heat oil in stockpot.  Fry onion, salt and mustard seeds for about 5-7 min or until the onion is cooked. Add garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, besan and tomato paste in this order.  Stir a minute or two until it thickens.

Stir in tomatoes and vegie stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the pumpkin and cook for another 15 to 20 min.  Cook the kale in the soup for a few minutes and remove stockpot from heat.

Stir in milk and nutritional yeast flakes.  Serve soup with pistachios scattered on top.

I consider soups to be dumping grounds for leftovers and tired vegies.  Into this soup at the same time as the tinned tomatoes went 250g cherry tomatoes and 1 cup of leftover pasta sauce.  But they are no essential and most days I would not have leftover pasta sauce hanging about the house.  I also forgot the milk and nutritional yeast flakes at the end so I added a splash of milk and sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes after I served the soup.

On the Stereo:
Theatre is Evil: Amanda Palmer


  1. Warming soup and plate of noodles superb

  2. The soup looks good. Love Sylvia's nsme for the meatballs!

  3. Hehe I was wondering what cornflake balladinas were! Great name Sylvia :D

  4. I always like seeing your week-of-meal posts, and love your idea for using up the leftovers of tofu nuggets. I have only made them once but remember the coating getting wasted at the end - I really liked the nuggets but have forgotten about the concept so I am grateful for the reminder and extra meatball idea for the leftovers!

    Great to see your soup too, I remember seeing this on Joanne's site and liking the look of it. Your bowls look lovely.

    1. Thanks Kari - the meatballs are very economical and quick using the leftover coating. The bowls are from a $2 shop - they are have lots of remaindered stock - I have already managed to break one but at least it wasn't too painful to replace it.

  5. This soup sounds delicious. I love that you tossed kale into it and the nutritional yeast would give it a nice "cheesy" flavour. Thanks for sharing this over at Healthy Vegan Fridays =)
    ps. the tofu nuggets/meatballs sound great too!

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed this soup!! Makes me want to make up another pot of it to eat through the weekend.

  7. I saw that soup of Joanne's blog and also bookmarked it. I should try it out before spring arrives... although I want spring more than soup right now. ;)

    1. Thanks Janet - I would happily eat it in spring or summer because it is quite light

  8. It was definitely a tomato soup kind of week! ;-) I love the pistachio topping on this one and the kale and pumpkin. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  9. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can't wait to see what you share next time!

  10. Lovely soup - i do like kale and I have two large BNS that are sitting unloved in the kitchen in place of the pumpkin. Thank you for sending to Extra Veg.

  11. What a beautiful soup! I love the addition of the nutritional yeast - something I will be trying now soon! Thank you for linking up with Extra Veg and the No Waste Food Challenge.


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