Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Some soups are light and refreshing preludes to a meal; others, like this one, are an entire meal in a bowl. Pasta and potatoes, like pasta and beans, are frequently combined in Italian vegetable dishes. The potatoes should be starchy, like Yukon Golds or russets, so that they lend body to the broth. Short pasta shapes add texture; onion, fennel, garlic, tomato paste and fresh herbs and greens add flavor. The soup may be made a day or so before serving: It improves in the refrigerator and reheats beautifully, but don’t add the pasta in this case until serving.

Once I read this description, I had to try the recipe. It was delicious! Happy cooking, hon!

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens


3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery or fennel (I used celery)

salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1 large thyme sprig (I used a couple of dashes of dried thyme)

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons paprika

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used veg. broth.)

2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks

8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into ½-inch ribbons (about 4 cups total)

½ pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and celery (or fennel), stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
  2. Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
  3. Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil. Pass extra Parmesan at the table. (I didn’t add Parmesan or olive oil on top of servings.)

Yield: 6-8 servings

To make vegan, eliminate Parmesan.

To make gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Source: The New York Times, City Kitchen by David Tanis


Red Lentil and Barley Soup

Red Lentil and Barley Soup

In addition to Vegetarian Chili, Red Lentil and Barley Soup was ready and waiting for company the day after Thanksgiving. It was tame to chili’s spice. I made it ahead to time, froze it, defrosted it at room temperature a day early, and simmered it on a low flame for a few hours. I also froze individual servings to have at a later date. Think snowed in!

Happy cooking, hon.

Red Lentil and Barley Soup



  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 1 hour.
  5. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.

Tip: Add dashes of other spices, such as sage, rosemary, turmeric, etc, as desired.

Cooking Time: 1 hour 25 minutes.

Yield: 6


Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, out-of-town family visits and I’m in the mood for something other than leftover turkey. This year, Vegetarian Chili and Red Lentil and Barely Soup took center stage with lots of “fixin’s” on the side. As a time-saver, I made the chili ahead and froze it. After defrosting at room temperature for a day, it simmered over a low flame for a few hours. It was a hit! This hearty, healthy chili is so delicious, I’ve already made it again.

Chili is perfect when it’s, ummm, chilly! Stay warm, hon.

Vegetarian Chili


1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and veins removed) (I omitted this since my family does’t like things too spicy.)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
3 heaping tbsp tomato paste
3 soft plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup veggie stock or water
salt and pepper, to taste


1.Heat the olive oil in a pan* and add onions and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add the jalapeno (keep some of the vein and/or seeds for more heat) and saute for another minute.

2.Add the chili, cumin and garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

3.Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally so that the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add additional veggie stock, if needed.

*Tip: The first time I made this recipe, I sautéed the onions and garlic in a saute pan, followed the directions, and then poured the mixture in a large pot to simmer. The second time, I sautéed the onions and garlic directly in the large pot, added the remaining ingredients, and simmered. It was less work and just as yummy.


Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

I made this delicious dish a long time ago and wanted to make it again many times, but I couldn’t find the recipe. (I didn’t trust myself to make it from memory). When I finally organized cut-outs from newspapers, chicken-scratched napkins, and a ton of loose recipes, I found it.  Yay!  It takes some patience, but it’s worth it.

Happy cooking, hon.

Layer potatoes in a spiral.
Slowly cook potatoes until well browned.


2 pounds (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 Tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

Freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 Tablespoon minced garlic


Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. Pat potatoes dry if very starchy or moist. In a sauté pan large enough to fit potato slices in just two layers, spread 1 tablespoon oil with and sprinkle with nutmeg and pepper to taste. Starting in center, arrange potato slices in a closely overlapping, attractive spiral. When pan is filled, repeat to make second layer.
  2. Place pan over medium heat and cover. Slowly cook potatoes until well browned on underside, about 15 minutes, occasionally shaking pan gently to avoid sticking. Wipe inside of lid as needed to keep it dry.
  3. Press potatoes down with a flat spatula and remove from heat. Place a larger platter over pan and flip it upside down, transferring potatoes to the platter. Check pan to make sure it is clean and has enough oil to keep potatoes from sticking.
  4. Slide galette, raw side down, back into pan, and return to medium heat. Cover and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a persillade by combining parsley and garlic in a small bowl. To serve, slide galette onto a serving platter, season to taste with salt, and garnish with persillade or thyme.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: “A Culinary Journey in Gascony” by Kate Hill



Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Winter puts me in the mood for hearty soups, and this one is practically a meal. Serve it as a soup or over quinoa, brown rice or polenta. Yum.

Happy cooking and stay warm, hon!


3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

2 cups diced peeled butternut squash (I substituted yellow squash)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (see note)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to caramelize, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper and stir for a minute. Stir in the water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in the basil and vinegar.

Note: About 1 pound of kale will yield 5 cups sorted (discard yellow or wilted leaves and large center stems), stemmed, and chopped kale.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings or about 8 cups

DIY Raincoat Crisps, Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps


I had never heard of Raincoast Crisps until a friend served her homemade crisps with cheese as appetizers. I couldn’t stop eating them!  Thekitchn describes them perfectly.

“These crackers are thin, crispy, and packed with flavor. The raisins add their chewy texture and sweetness, while the nuts and seeds give the crackers substance. The fresh rosemary gives a breath of pine-y goodness to every bite, just like in the original crackers.”

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps


2 cups all-purpose flour (to make these gluten-free, substitute with gluten-free flour or rice flour)

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk (to make these gluten-free or non-dairy, substitute with 1 ¾ cups almond milk)

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup honey

1 cup raisins

½ cup chopped pecans

½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

¼ cup sesame seeds1/4 cup flax seed (ground)

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary (I used dried rosemary)


Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes.
  3. Add raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary. Stir until blended.
  4. Spray two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray, then pour batter into two pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove pans and cool on a wire rack.
  5. The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin. When ready to continue baking, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Slice loaves as thin as possible and place slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. (Tip. One loaf can be sliced and baked, and the other can be frozen to be slice and baked at another time.) Bake for about 15 minutes, then flip over and bake another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden.

Yield. About 8 dozen crackers.

Source: Dinner With Julie

Tips from  thekitchn

–freeze loaves before slicing in order to get the thinnest crackers

–bake loaves in mini-loaf pans for the perfect cracker shape

–double quantity of rosemary if you love the rosemary taste

–replace half of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour

–plump up raisins before mixing them into batter if you want them to stand out more in finished cracker


Hearty Tomato Soup

Hearty Tomato Soup
Hearty Tomato Soup.
Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.
Puree in blender.
Puree in blender.









Hearty Tomato Soup

I love a hearty, healthy soup and this delicious recipe is both. A food processor will make easy work of the chopping and grating, although you can certainly prep by hand. At first I used a hand-held blender but, when I didn’t get the right consistency, pureed it in a blender. This soup has body and texture, which is what makes it hearty.

Happy cooking, hon!


1 small onion. finely chopped

1 small carrot, grated or chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoons chicken soup powder (I used chicken-flavored, parve soup powder.)

1 bay leaf

4 leaves fresh basil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Dried Thyme and Oregano, Salt and Pepper


  1. In a soup pot, saute onion, carrot, garlic and celery in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes with juice, soup powder, bay leaf, basil, thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-45 minutes.
  3. Puree in blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

Yield:  8-10 servings

Source: Kosher Chic,