Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We’re slowly springing out of the dreary days of winter.

Through the incessant rain and cold, there are gentle signs of spring’s emergence; this morning I noticed the tiny red buds of the magnolia tree across the street.

Our winter wasn’t as bad as it was in other places, it just felt like a long dark one; I’m ready for daffodils and cherry blossoms, and longer days as our clocks spring forward this weekend.

Meanwhile we’re enjoying the last bits of winter with the warm comforts of soup – that’s exactly what this mushroom tortellini and vegetable soup is, it’s a hearty comforting soup that warms the soul.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

This type of soup usually starts with a text from my sister; she found dried mushroom filled tortellini at the Italian market thought of the classic Italian tortellini en brodo (in broth) but with chunks of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, to add a bit of colour and vibrancy.

My sister and I try to get together and cook once a month, being a far better cook than I am, I always jump at the opportunity – she mostly does all the cooking and I get to reap the benefits – like this awesome soup.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We’ve been making soups like these all winter long, particularly for those gloomy rainy days, and there’s been quite a few of those days.

And the soups are always so tasty and filling and nutritious and warming. It literally melts the chills away.

And the best part is this soup is even better the next day and days after, just keep leftovers in the fridge and reheat before serving.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup
Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Speculoos Cookie Muffins

Speculoos Cookie Muffins

Long before the cookie butter craze, there were speculoos, the crunchy caramelized spiced cookies which is the main ingredient the cookie butter.

Speculoos are special in themselves, my local London Drugs used to carry the Belgian ones around Christmas time; crispy and thin with punchy flavours, they are so good with tea.

A while back, I discovered a package of speculoos lost underneath my stash of nuts, broken in pieces, looking forlorn and perfect for these muffins.

IMG_0060 Speculoos Cookie Muffins
Speculoos Cookie Muffins Speculoos Cookie Muffins

I can’t recall where I found this recipe, I really wish I could, because it takes the humble speculoos to new heights, I guess it’s similar to the cookie spread in that way

One idle grey morning, we watched the rain pour down the windows, and made these muffins, then we made coffee, sat down and relished the wonderful aroma of the muffins baking.

We ate them warm, right out of the oven with coffee and good company.

These speculoos cookie muffins aren’t the healthiest, but they have a delicious specialness and comfort that makes them perfectly suited for cold rainy days.

I really like how they turned out – wonderfully spiced, moist and cakey with a delightful crunchy streusel topping.

Speculoos Cookie Muffins
Speculoos Cookie Muffins by Elsa Brobbey


Speculoos Cookie Muffins

Roasted Vegetables Pasta

Roasted Vegetables Pasta

I think it bears repeating that I love the romance of love, it often times makes me wish I could fall in love repeatedly just for that delightful magical rush.

Perhaps that is what Valentine’s Day is, a reminder to celebrate the romance of love.

This year I thought about red themed desserts, and discovered Pinterest boards of adorable heart-shaped red and pink food and crafts.

Floral Arrangement Roasted Vegetables Pasta

And then I thought about flowers… of roses and anthuriums… bright in hues of red.
Somehow this pasta is what I saw; easy, light, tasty and fresh – so simple it’s magical.

It reminds me of simple things… early morning walks, dancing to your favourite songs, humble bouquets that gladden your heart and long quiet afternoons in bed.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May you find romance in the ordinary… Always.

Roasted Vegetables Pasta
Roasted Vegetables Pasta


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Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup

It must have been somewhere between sleep and consciousness when I decided I was going to be eating soups for the first month of this New Year.

Christmas was just over and we were languidly ensconced in that passing space of nothingness between Christmas and New Year’s while we waited for that imminent change.

I texted my sister asking her if we could make black-eyed peas soup for New Year’s – that’ll start off my month of soups perfectly, I thought.

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup

We’ve in recent years adopted the custom of eating black-eyed peas for New Year’s, it seemed fitting to make soup this year given the dark rainy days we’ve had.

So on New Year’s Eve my sister brought beans and kale and a bounty of vegetables from the market, we chopped and sliced and diced, and sautéed them gently.

That night, before we went on to welcome the New Year, we put our soup fixings in the slow cooker, which is really just the rice cooker with a slow-cooking function, and set it to cook.

The next morning we had a lavish breakfast; another borrowed tradition of eating well at the start of the year to ensure ‘good eating’ the rest of the year.
We drank milky coffee with thick slices of pandoro and wholesome fruits.

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup
Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup

We set the soup to warm after breakfast, got our coats on and went for a long walk, we came back ready for the soup.

We set out the soup with baguette and tortilla chips, and lemon and nuts for toppings; we gathered around the table and had a small soup party, and drank wine and mimosas.

This soup is hearty and filling, with rich nourishing and comforting flavours; I can’t think of a more wonderful and satisfying meal to start the New Year with.

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale Soup
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We had plenty of leftovers, which I ate for the rest of the week.

I’m looking forward to more incredible soups this month, I’m making a black beans and chard in a tomatoey broth this weekend, and I found a wonderful lentil and potato recipe I plan on making soon – I think I’m going to like that one a lot.

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Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

I can’t remember a more perfect fall than the one we’ve been having lately.
This is the first time I’ve loved fall this much since I moved here; it used to be my favourite season.

This autumn in Vancouver has been absolutely gorgeous; from colourful foliage unlike any we’ve seen in a while, to clear breezy sunny days, and occasional rain that charmingly sets the mood for craving warm cozy comforts… like a steaming bowl of soup or warm fragrant roasted vegetables.

There’s just something special and settling about the smell of vegetables roasting on a crisp autumnal day – there’s nothing I love more these days.

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

And to think this time few months ago I was still excited about strawberries and tomatoes at the market.
And now comes this season of hearty roots vegetables that I can’t get enough of; potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips – of all kinds.

It’s really easy to get excited about these wholesome, nourishing and abundant fall produce when you can enjoy them in so many versatile way; roasted, mashed, grilled, braised, or make delectable fries or chips for snacking.

When I saw purple potatoes at the store this past weekend, I loaded a couple onto my cart picturing these honey mustard roasted potatoes.

Roasting with mustard, a tip I picked up last year makes tasty scrumptious caramelized vegetables; it heightens the natural sweetness of the vegetables intensifying the flavours.

Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes

It’s truly excellent; in that it’s a breeze to whip up, and the reward is a cheerful cozy meal, perfect to come home to after a crisp day outdoors in the chill and crunchy fallen leaves. Or perhaps a colourful side dish at your Thanksgiving feast.

Maple syrup works exceptionally well in place of honey for this recipe. Feel free to use whatever potatoes you have, or experiment with other root vegetables – I’ve been dreaming of sweet potatoes…

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