Soup for the Soul

Growing up my mom will always make soup during the Winter months. Coming home from school to a comforting bowl of hot soup was just perfect. I’m carrying on this tradition with my own family. This soup is one of the favorites in my house, between the girls and J the pot will be empty and gone in two days.

Split pea and Kale soup

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium size onion, chopped

2 medium size carrots, diced

2 red peppers, diced

4-6 big leaves lacinato kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1 pound bag of dried split pea

1 qt chicken stock

1 1/2 cup of frozen petit green peas

2.5 qt water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, peppers and sauté for about 10 minutes with the cover on. Add the kale, garlic and parsley, stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Rinse the split pea in cold water and add to the pot. Add the chicken stock, water, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, partly covered, for 30 Р40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the split pea is starting to disintegrated. Add the frozen green peas, and cook for another 20 minutes.

Soup is best if made one day ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.





Photos by Kate Bolt


5 Minute Snack

In Israel as a girl, strawberries were a Winter treat. It was simply impossible to get them year round. So, we would make the most of it during the Winter and eat them in every shape and form.

My favorite version is to mix them with sour cream and a bit of sugar. The sour cream creates a light coat over the strawberries without taking over. The texture is creamy and thus more enticing then plain yogurt. Five minute of work and you have a fabulous snack or dessert.

All you need:

Strawberries, blueberries, a few scoops of sour cream and sugar.

Depending on their size cut the Strawberries in half and toss with Blueberries. Sprinkle with one or two teaspoons Sugar and mix in two tablespoons of sour cream. Mix well until the sour cream coats all fruit. For an added bonus: sprinkle a little bit of candied Pecans.





Photos by Kate Bolt


Summer cool

I’m always looking for new recipes to try. I love making recipes that are simple, easy and don’t require any special ingredients. My father is visiting with us and we have been cooking and baking all week long. He is by far the best cook I know! ¬†That being said, it is difficult getting recipes from him because he cooks and bakes from the heart.

Last weekend was so hot and humid, and he immediately decided that it was time to make cucumber yogurt soup. I think his wife created the recipe and he add his own touches along the way. The combination of the dill and mint makes this cool dish even more refreshing. Serve it between courses at a dinner party or for lunch with toast and salad. The soup needs a good 24 hours in the fridge before serving.

Naturally when we made this it rained the next day, but I still had the perfect lunch!

Yogurt cucumber soup

2 containers Greek yogurt
8 oz sour cream
6 green house cucumber, unpeeled, chopped 
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon garlic oil
1/2 cup dill and mint chopped 
freshly ground pepper and coarse salt for seasoning

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt and sour cream (If the yogurt is too thick, add a little bit of milk). Mix in the cucumber, garlic, salt and pepper and stir well. Fold in the dill and mint, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Serve chilled, garnished with fresh dill.








Salad and Company

There is nothing better in this world than good friends and good food. The combination of the two is what I consider my “happy place”. So, naturally, I had to write a post that brings the two together. I love a big salad that has a little bit of everything. The way I prepare a salad is by looking at the fridge, taking whatever looks good to me at the moment, toss¬†in a bowl and hope that it will taste good in the end.

I told Kate (my partner in crime) that I have the perfect salad for a fun morning. While my kitchen is undergoing some cosmetic changes, I showed up at her doorstep with a basket full of goodies.

We had a lovely time, and  for the first time since forever, it was warm outside enough for me to wear shorts!

Kale, Beets, Green Beans and Tuna Salad (for two):
2 Small heads of lettuce, chopped (I like to use one red and one green, doesn’t matter what kind)
5 Kale leafs, chopped
1 Can of Tuna in olive oil
1 medium size Beet, peeled and 1/2-inch diced
4 “Almost” hard boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
A nice size bunch of Green Beans
Olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Wrap the beet in tin foil without peeling and place in a baking pan, bake for about an hour until tender. Allow to cool and peel.

Boil eggs for 5-6 minutes. Place  green beans in rapid boiling water with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Place the lettuce and kale in a large salad bowl and add the beets, green beans and tuna. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and toss well. Arrange the eggs gently on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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Photos by Kate Bolt


Easy Fix

On my previous Book Worm post I shared snapshots of my favorite books. This post is about a recipe from the cookbook “OTTOLENGHI”. ¬†Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli chef who owns a group of restaurants in London. Along with his head chef, Sami Tamimi, he published two other cookbooks: “Jerusalem” and “Plenty”. I am a little bit obsessed with his books. I find his recipes simple, easy and delicious. Follow them and you have a bullet proof dish!

That being said, I must confess that I like “minimum work – maximum show”¬†recipes! Oh, and that I don’t really need to follow them step-by-step, but can make a few shortcuts. I’ve prepared the following dish several times: as part of a brunch, a light vegetarian dinner or lunch date with a girlfriend.

Here is the recipe with my notes, enjoy and bon apetit!

Sweet potato galettes

3 Sweet potatoes, about 12 oz/350 g each.

9 oz/250 g puff pastry

1 free range egg, lightly beaten 

6 1/2 tbsp /100 ml sour cream

3 1/2 tbsp /100 g aged goat cheese

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 medium-hot chile, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C. Bake the sweet potatoes in their skin for 35 to 45 minutes, until they are soften up but still slightly raw in the center (check by inserting a small knife). Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into slices 1/8 inch /3 mm thick.   Note: I peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in advance. I layer them on a cookie sheet, and bake them for about 20 minutes. Taking this shortcut makes this recipe a quick prep and in my opinion does not influence the taste. 
  2. while the sweet potatoes are in the oven, roll out the puff pastry to about 1/16 inch / 2 mm thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out four 2 3/4 by 5 1/2-inch / 7 by 14-cm rectangles and prick them all over with a fork. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, place the pastry rectangles on it, well spaced apart, and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.¬†Note: I¬†use “Pepperidge Farm” puff pastry sheets¬†which¬†comes in two folded¬†squares. I¬†just cut each¬†square¬†into half. If I am in rush I skip the wait in the fridge.¬†
  3. Remove the pastry from thE fridge and brush lightly with the beaten egg. Using an icing spatula, spread the thin layer of sour cream on the pastries, leaving a 1/4-inch / 5-mm border all round. Arrange the potato slices on the pastry, slightly overlapping, keeping the border clear. Season with salt and pepper, crumble the goat cheese on top, and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chile. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through. Check underneath; it should be golden brown. Note: I often make this dish for my husband and girls, so I omit the pumpkin seeds and chile.  
  4. While the galettes are cooking, stir together the olive oil, garlic,¬†parsley, and a pinch of salt. As soon as the pastries come out of the oven, brush them with this¬†mixture. Serve warm or at room¬†temperature. ¬†Note: I use a Cuisinart Mini Prep Processor to chop the¬†parsley¬†and garlic together. I am a big¬†parsley¬†fan so I use a nice size bunch. The Mini Prep is my “go-to” kitchen tool for all herbs. It makes chopping a¬†quick¬†task.

I hope you will enjoy it with your family and friends!

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 All photos are taken by Kate Bolt