Tag Archives: vegetables

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

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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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

On the plane ride home, I started making plans for recreating some of the faboulous meals I’d had on my vacation – Ottolenghi’s basmati and wild rice salad, the appeltaart from the Old Church café in Amsterdam and the Moutabal I ate atop the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris; I was going to make them all… as soon as we landed.

And then I got home and got sick; a lingering cold and melancholy, and then the thick fog came, eerie and haunting, covering the city for days… like a setting for some mystical novel.

Feeling poorly and cold and forlorn in ‘perpetual fog city’ put a damper on my desire to recreate cheery meals – instead, I wanted soup… lots of warm, thick, soothing and filling soups.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

A hearty bowl of soup seemed more suitable for the mood, and this slow cooker lentil soup is just the ideal soup for the occasion; it’s brothy and filling with chunks of vegetables, and so, so easy to make.

It’s probably the very first soup I think of when the temperature drops, and the trees start turning colour and shedding.
And because it’s easy, adaptable and oh so deliciously comforting, I usually make it a few times throughout the colder months.

Sometimes I sauté the vegetables first before they go in the slow cooker, by all means do that if you have time – like I said, this recipe is very versatile – you can also add your favourites… like cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes, other root vegetables, rice, quinoa, chopped apples… etc.

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Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa IMG_4068

Summer is in full swing!
We’re in that sweet phase where we don’t check the weather forecast in the morning anymore to decide what to wear, or wonder if it’ll rain. It’s like we’re in some perpetually sunny tropical locale.

We made fresh tomato salsa over the week; chopped up juicy red tomatoes, tasty farm fresh jalapeno peppers, zesty onions, and generous heaps of deep green cilantro, and juiced lemons as succulent and bright as the afternoon sun that streams through our tiny kitchen.

Salsa must be synonymous with summer in some places, I’m sure – how can it not be? It’s a beautiful way to use up those fresh abundant summer tomatoes, it’s refreshing and cheerful and doesn’t require turning on the stove – there’s enough heat in the peppers.

We prefer our salsa chunky, scooped over rice and beans or quinoa – but in these summer months we usually go for some sturdy tortilla chips, and let them do the scooping.

We made enough salsa to last a while, which I’ve been eating with chips practically every day this week, because it feels scrumptiously right, and it’s easygoing and vibrant, like a summer afternoon.

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Roasted Potatoes, Okra and Broccoli


I’m drawn to okra… there’s a certain pull (get it?). It’s a little strange, it’s not like I particularly liked okra when I was younger, yet these days I get them whenever I see them at the store.

I think it might be because it reminds me of when I was little and the foods I ate.
Sometimes I wish my mom still made her sumptuous okra stews and soups, or that I could make them.

I work the okra I bring home into easy and practical dishes, mostly by roasting them with other vegetables and or adding them to some beans of some sort.

This roasted potatoes, okra and broccoli came about out of convenience, potatoes and broccoli were what I had to go with the okra I’d brought from the market – I’m glad they came together, they make a good medley; I’ve made several times since that first time.

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I roast the potatoes separately since it takes a little longer to bake, those beautiful new potatoes that show up this time of year is perfect for this recipe, I roast them with carrots and a bit of rosemary and thyme – it’s quick and simple, and tastes great.

The okra and broccoli, I roast with onions and bell peppers, combine them with the potatoes when done and finish off with slow roasted tomatoes and chickpeas. Slow roasted tomatoes make everything taste better, and the chickpea is for protein.

I really, really like these simple roasted vegetables combinations, I’ve made about a million variations of them, and I always say that I’d happily eat them everyday if I couldn’t have any other food, but adding okra to the mix… that is pretty special!

IMG_7183 Roasted Potatoes with Okra & Broccoli