Warming winter soup


I just came back from a fantastic round trip in Italy. Driving through Tuscany, Amalfi Coast and Umbria, I had so many delicious meals, that I got inspired to cook a typical Umbrian soup: Zuppa di legumi. The weather here is getting cooler each day and I am longing to go back to Italy to soak up more sun, but instead I’m standing in my kitchen and cook hearty Italian food to share the recipes with you.


Warming winter soup

500g mixed dried pulses ( red, green, yellow and brown lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, butter beans,cannellini beans, borlotti beans)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

200g smoked streaky bacon, diced

1 carrot, chopped

1 leek, sliced in thin rings

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped

5 medium tomatoes ,  hopped

5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

1,5 liter vegetable stock

salt, pepper

rind of Parmesan, approx. 2-3 cm thick

Heat the olive oil in a big pan, add the garlic, carrots, leek, bacon and rosemary and cook gently for about 10 minutes. Add the pulses, tomatoes, Parmesan rind and the stock, bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes  and simmer for further 30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.



Courgette pesto

Today is the day I will post my first recipe on my new blog. I am excited and a bit scared…. Writing is not one of my strong skills, I am a passionate cook, I feel good in the kitchen preparing a dish listening to music (humming the Sibelius Karelia Suite, Op.11 quietly right now while writing, because I was at the Anvil last night listening to the Philharmonia Orchestra and violinist Esther Yoo). You could give me the most complicated task in the kitchen, and I would be confident I could master it but writing and other people reading it is a totally different story. I have decided however, that is what I am going to do – I want to share my recipes with you. So if you don’t enjoy my style of writing, don’t be put off, just scroll down to the recipe and start cooking.

The courgette pesto which I am posting today was created a few weeks ago. We eat a lot of pesto and I have tried all sorts of pesto types, basil with almonds, basil with macadamia nuts, tomato pesto, pepper pesto etc… One day I was craving something different and thought I would use courgettes instead. My family was delighted with the result. So for dinner we had pesto and pasta, the day after we had pesto and crackers and the day after that we had crostini with pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella. So lots of possibilities to enjoy. Any feedback is always welcome!


Courgette pesto


Courgette pesto

300g courgettes

150g macadamia nuts

1 clove garlic

70ml olive oil

100g grated parmesan

1tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

Cut the courgettes into pieces, place them into a food processor together with the macadamia nuts and the garlic. Pulse until you have a smooth paste. You might need to add some of the olive oil in order to get a fine puree. Add the rest of the oil, lemon juice and grated parmesan. Pulse again until everything is combined. You might need to scrape down the sides and pulse again. Season with salt and pepper.

You can either serve this delicious pesto with pasta, or just as a dip with bread, crackers or raw vegetables.