Tag Archives: food memories

Flora’s seasonal recipe: Vegetable soup

13 Feb

photo-6I am not a trained chef. My food intuition comes from my upbringing.

I spent countless hours in the kitchen with my mom who hailed from a small town outside of Florence, Italy. Like many mothers before her who cooked with their children, she bestowed her heritage onto me through her food.

There was never a lack of food options in our home. It seemed as though something was always on the stove, in the oven or already cooked, cooled and in the fridge.

Out of all occasions, feeling sick with the sniffles, cough, fever etc…always meant that I was in for some sort of homemade soup. After each spoonful I slurped down I started to feel better.

Here’s a recipe for a simple – no frills vegetable soup for when you or your loved ones are feeling under the weather. Hopefully this will bring some rosiness to your cheeks and some energy back into your body.

Serves 4 big bowls of soup

Ingredients: (use veggies that are lying around your fridge)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, cubed
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
  • 1 medium beet, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
  • 3 swiss chard leaves, stems separated from leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water

Directions:

Prep your ingredients: cube onions, smash and slice garlic, cube your beet, slice your carrots into rounds, remove the stems from the leaves of your swiss chard then thickly chop the stems, roll the leaves then cut them into long ribbons.

Over medium heat add olive oil, then add garlic and onions, a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the rest of your veggies, leaving the swiss chard leaves to the end. Stir it up so that all of the flavors mingle. Add water, another pinch of sea salt and your bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then down to a slow simmer with the lid slightly ajar. Let simmer for 1 hour, or until all veggies are cooked.

If you’re feeling like you can handle cheese (dairy can affect mucuous) then top off your soup bowl with freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano.

You will feel better with every spoonful!

flora’s seasonal recipe: pondering persimmons

7 Jan

6290086996_8e25c56234Sitting on the train one day, a father, mother and their two daughters entered my car toting orange shopping bags filled with fresh produce. They were caught up in lively conversations, while each one of them was biting into a ripe persimmon.

It was inspiring to watch a family all enjoying a fresh and unique fruit together on their train ride. The sheer happiness emanating from their faces was a true testament to the importance of sharing family meals and moments.

What also stood out to me was their conscious decision to pick persimmons as their snack. Perhaps the persimmons brought back childhood memories for their parents, and they wanted to share those memories with their children? Maybe their children chose the fruit and enlightened them on how delicious they are? Or maybe they all walked into the store never having tried persimmons, and the shop keeper was giving out tastings?

Whichever way the persimmons made it onto the train with this sweet family, they were in my car for a reason. While I watched them, I was able to reflect on the value of food memories, the ways in which food connects us to place, grounds us in flavor and promotes health and wellness.

Hopefully this sweet family has inspired you to pick up a persimmon or two, and share the experience with someone you love on your very own road to making food memories together.

46422626_c4691b75e5How to eat a persimmon? There are two main types: Fuyu (tomato shaped – eat with peel on) and Hachiya (acorn shaped – remove peel).

Fuyu:

  • Wash it first.
  • Once ripe (should feel soft, not squishy), cut in half then cut into wedges, like you would a tomato.
  • Or simply bite into one like an apple!

Hachiya:

  • Wash it first.
  • Once ripe (should feel squishy in your hand) cut open the top, and spoon out the fruit.
  • Eat with abandon!

For more persimmon recipes and inspirations click here.

Photos courtesy of sleepyneko and Beyond Forgetting