My new years minestrone is made with a mix of all the vegetables I have in my fridge minus the black radish and watermelon radish I am keeping to eat with my hummus. I do not use a recipe to make minestrone. Minestrone is traditionally made with a combination of veggies, legumes, roots, tubers… The main ingredient to my minestrone is celery root. Celery root gives the depth of flavor I look for in minestrone. I cook minestrone in my slow cooker for about 6 hours or until the vegetables are soft and there is enough liquid left to cream it with my  hand held immersion blender like this one . I love the thick texture and the creaminess it creates.

Chop the vegetables and lightly sauté in a little evo.

1 small celery root

2 carrots

1/2 onion

1 large zucchini

1/2 c lentils

1/2 stalk celery

  • Add sautéed veggies to the slow cooker.
  • Add 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can drained and rinsed)
  • Add 4 cups filtered water to the slow cooker, approximately 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

You can use whichever vegetables you choose, this is what I had on hand.  I use equal parts of veggies to water. More or less water depending on how many starchy veggies I am using.

Adding fresh herbs and or garlic adds flavor.

In photo, a sprinkle of parmigiano , salt pepper and a few drops of evo.

I love plantain chips and the crunch they give in soup, a gluten free alternative to toasted bread.

Buon Appetito!


toasted bread for him, plantain chips for me 🙂




Super Soup!

I’m headed toward a Super New Year! I feel as though 2014 has me in 5th gear and I see February right around the corner leading to an incredibly enjoyable year to come!

New Years sped by while I was dealing with the flu/bronchitis, which I diagnose as my own immune decline due to nostalgia and stress I usually deal with during the Holiday season, its the one moment of the year I am physically compromised and usually have issues with.

Some old fashioned flu and cold remedies that come to mind are orange juice, honey, chicken soup and alcohol. Old beliefs, which, may somehow had or have their sense.http://adore-vintage.blogspot.com/2012/01/old-fashioned-remedies-10-vintage-ways.htm

l opted for the Soup. My Grandmother, 91, advised me to have some Chicken soup and it would do the trick!

I am not a meat eater so this is sort of my re-introduction to meat in 2014. I am on my mission to find the right foods for my body. I believe that everyone is different, we come from all areas of the earth. Some people eat more fish, others more fruits and vegetables, I think its in our DNA, the same thing for everyone can’t be right.

Last year I stopped eating red and white meat all together, I wanted to see how I felt, if I could manage without meat and if I would suffer in any way. My proteins were legumes, eggs, quinoa, fish etc.

The videos and readings I found on the meats that are sold on the market and the ways animals are kept before and after they are sold to us were grotesque. How and why would anyone ever eat something like that? That is not food for human consumption, that is a human crime. (There are numerous videos online that tell the stories and explain how the meat industry is raising the meat in the super market and about what the animals are fed.) I really still feel in someways humans may not need meat to survive but maybe some need it to feel and be in optimum condition.

A few years ago I was diagnosed allergic to additives in packaged foods. The Allergist gave me a diet to follow that singled out many allergen foods including gluten. I was told to eat fresh butchered meats and fish and was given a list of fruits and vegetables. All organic, non packaged products. That “diet” was what changed my eating habits. I felt so much more energetic, I was satisfied with the food I ate, stomach pains ceased and my allergy passed.

[My Allergy: My tongue would inflame, hurt, numb, mouth sores, no taste, for days. As soon as I would take a bite of something containing what the Doctor calls “synthetic ingredients or additives”, my mouth and tongue would go numb. They were never able to pin point which additive, the Doctors said that there are so many and so many unknown (not on the labels because in small quantities) in the foods we are eating :/  ]

*This is one of my favorite videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWXrRftyOMY

This is how and why I do not eat processed or packaged foods and am very careful to what is on the label if I do eat anything of this sort. Judifood = All Natural ingredients period.

This year I have decided to try grass fed (pasture raised) meats and see how my body reacts. How I feel when I run and in everyday life, if consuming animal proteins will make any changes in how I feel. 

I am a type 0+ and reading about my blood type, things make sense. I have decided to try and see 🙂



Super Soup was going to put me back on my feet and start off 2014 with my new menu’ introducing red and white grass fed meats. 

Super Soup was made with little or no energy, with a strong sense of nostalgia and a the want to find what is best for me 🙂


Souper Soup!

  • 12 cups Spring Water
  • 4 boneless Chicken Thighs, chopped into cubes
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Leak, chopped
  • 1 large Russet Potato, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Celery seed
  • A sprig of each bound together: fresh Sage, fresh Rosemary & fresh Thyme
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Salt

* I added all the ingredients to the Spring Water as I chopped them up and let the Soup boil until all ingredients were cooked thoroughly, (the potato boiled out and thickened the soup).

*I previously boiled some Basmati Rice and served Super Soup on top. The hot Soup warmed the rice. This way the rice doesn’t over cook and the Soup can be frozen.

Buon Apetito!


3 Bean Soup

I continuously find myself thinking of fixing something of which i do not have all the ingredients to make. And also responding to myself saying “I need those ingredients…” in order to make dinner, in order to have something I can quickly warm up for lunch this week, I make excuses to myself when I very well know that I have food in the house I could use to make something but, but, BUT my mind wants to try that recipe that calls for 3 eggs and I only have 2 left or I am out of some ingredient that can’t be substituted (I don’t like to substitute). I know we won’t die of hunger, I’m just fascinated with recipes and food I guess…

I have very full cupboards. About every type of nut & oil that exists, herbs and spices, if they are out there, I have it. Every type of flour, including the ones I don’t use often and personally don’t consume. My freezer at the moment, just off the top of my head, has multiple containers of 2 types of soup, meat sauce, frozen vegetables, asparagus, brussel sprouts, other herbs, salmon, tilapia, ground turkey, not to mention whats in the pantry and fridge…..

So today I decided to “use what I have” and make soup with my leftovers. Without needing any other ingredients and using what I have. I love doing this, it makes things special and somehow things turn out perfect 🙂

I had a handful of dried chickpeas, a couple handfuls of cannellini beans and kidney beans weighing 1 lb all together. I had a quart of Turkey breast broth left over from Thanksgiving weekends Turkey Potpie preparation and some bacon.

[Ok, so, I have said I don’t eat red or white meat, which since the beginning of this year is true, BUT, she’s (me), trying new things and she even had a couple spoons of chili Jeff made last night. So things might be changing, but thats to see and will be another post if so.]


My 3 Bean Soup

  • 1 lb.  dried Cannelini, Chickpeas and Kidney Beans (soaked overnight and rinsed)
  • 2 Red potatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 a large Onion, chopped
  • 1 large Carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick Celery, chopped
  • 3/4 lb fresh bacon or pancetta, chopped
  • 1 Qt. Turkey Breast broth
  • 2 Qt. Spring Water
  • 3/4 tsp Thyme
  • 2 twigs Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt

Salt & Pepper to taste

In my 9 Qt. Alluminum pot I sautéed the chopped bacon and let cook until the fat was melted but not yet crisp, then I added the onion, carrot and celery that I chopped using the grater disc with my food processor and let sauté until the onion was transparent, then added the chopped garlic, thyme and rosemary twigs and lightly salted and peppered the ingredients.


[By this time Jeff, Joe and Kyle had come downstairs to see what I was up to, the smell  had lingered upstairs and caught their attention.]

I added the beans, ( soaked overnight and rinsed), then the diced potatoes and let sauté a few more minutes. I added the Turkey broth and 1/2 a qt. of  water and let boil at medium heat about 15 minutes and then added another 1/2 Qt. Water. I added water as it cooked. The soup simmered about 1 1/2 hours, until the beans were soft. I let the soup cool about a 1/2 hour and used my hand immersion blender to puree or cream the soup a little, just a few pulses and it was ready and delicious!

* If you do dairy, I recommend 3 Bean Soup with grated Parmeggiano.

Buon Appetito!

“What’s for Dinner?”

My Mother’s Split Pea Soup and the aroma of the simmering Broth she prepared using Turkey giblets for the making of Thanksgiving’s Stuffing are the two smells I remember vividly from my childhood and loved. I remember coming home from school and falling in love with the smell. Each filled our house with a certain sense of security, a powerful aroma that wrapped me in a sort of security blanket and made any other thoughts in my head disappear.

“What’s for dinner?” were the first words out of my mouth when I got home from school. I was always starving by that time, either because of the long walk home or because I was a growing child or because of the delicious smell in our house of something already cooking. “What’s for dinner?” I would ask removing the lid from the pot on the stove with a certain joyful hurry to know what the delicious aroma was and knowing it was going to be my dinner.

Asking Mom “What’s for dinner?” was always a scary question with a surprise answer. I was scared of what Mom’s response would be, I might not be fond of what we were having, none the less, that was dinner, period.  We didn’t have a choice, an alternative, it was that or you went to bed without dinner with a spanking.

Those light green, perfectly halved spheres soaking in water didn’t look like peas to me but they clued me into what Mom was preparing. Her Split Peas Soup was thick, my sister and I would laugh at the fact our spoons would stand straight up in our bowls without falling, the thicker the better, it was delicious! 


      Judifood’s Split Pea Soup recipe:

  • 2 liters Spring water (8cups)
  • 1 lb Split Peas, soaked overnight (rinsed twice)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped
  • 1 large stalk Celery, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Evo
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • the juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • Salt&Pepper to taste
  • my Toppings were: a hard boiled egg, smoked paprika & plantain chips

I used my food processor to chop the carrot, celery and onion and sautéed them in the evo and salt and peppered lightly. I added the drained Split Peas to the pan to sauté a few minutes. I added the sautéed mixture to the Slow cooker and added all remaining ingredients except the lemon juice and toppings. I cooked on high about 6 hours, stirring occasionally. I let sit until morning and the soup had thickened well but not enough for my spoon to stand up!(less water next time). I mixed in the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.


*I am Thankful for the food my Mother and Father put on the table, for their hard work, for growing up with real food and for the beautiful dinners with Family on special occasions like Thanksgiving, Thank you Mom & Dad, XOXO.


Minestrone comes from the “cucina povera” or “poor kitchen”. Created and elaborated from it’s own ingredients, a mix of leftover or fresh, slightly wilted or oven roasted vegetables or dried legumes possibly simmering with meat broths or bones, cheese crusts and  dry bread crusts. Or like mine, without the elaboration of the last 4 listed but with a touch of dried herbs. Some omit the starches, the beans, potatoes and some add rice, barley or pasta. Minestrone can be what you want it to be, a soup, a “zuppa” (a stew-like consistency) or even a puree’. And deliciously decorated with grated cheeses, crispy bacon or like me, with my favorite olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper or like Joe, pureed and topped with crispy bacon and fresh bread (below).


But if you are like me, you use what you have including half of a roasted sweet pumpkin and rejoice from the grande finale of the composed “Minestrone”.

My Composition:

I sautéed 1 chopped onion and 3 cloves garlic in a couple tbsp. Evo in an 8 qt. pot.

I added:

  • 2 roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 medium sizes Carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of Celery, chopped
  • 1 large red Potato, chopped
  • 4 handfuls of fresh Spinach
  • 4 Broccoli florets
  • 4 Cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 *handful of the following: dried chick peas, dried peas, dried cannellini beans & lentils (soaked for 4 hrs)

*1 handful = 1/4 cup

pot of minestrone

I sautéed all the ingredients for a few mins then added 1/2 gallon of Spring Water.

I added 1/4 tsp of:

  • maggiorana, thyme, oregano, dill weed,
  • 2 bay leaves and 3 tsps sea salt.

I let boil then simmer for an hour + and then added:

  • 1/2 roasted sweetie pie Pumpkin, cut in large pieces (approx. 2 cups)

I added another 4-6 cups Spring water as needed and let simmer until all the dried legumes were soft and to just the right consistancy.

Buon Appetito to Joe and I!


Spinach and rice Soup

This is a very old and simple soup that I was taught how to make in Italy. This soup was one of those dinner meals we favored and enjoyed weekly during the cooler seasons. There are very few ingredients in this recipe but none the less is a very satisfying dinner to me. I use vegetable broth but you can use whichever broth you prefer. I use Arborio rice in this recipe because this is how I met this soup and its delicious leftovers, for breakfast!    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arborio_rice

2-3 servings  (I eat them all, 2 bowls for dinner and 1 mug for tomorrow)

  • 4 cups Vegetable broth (recipe here:http://www.squidoo.com/vegetable-broth)
  • 4 cups fresh Spinach leaves (not easy to measure, I stuffed the measuring cup.)
  • 4 handfuls of Arborio rice (yes, handfuls, the Italian way, cup your hand and fill it up with rice, 4 times)
  • 2 tbsp Evo
  • 1/2 an Onion, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

In a  5 quart sauce pan, saute the onion in the evo until translucent, add the spinach, chopped largely and cook until reduced and leaves are dark green and limp, add rice, mix and  let saute a couple minutes. Salt and pepper the ingredients to taste. Add broth and let simmer until rice is cooked. Approximately 10 minutes.

Serve with grated Parmigiano,  Buon Appetito!

*Leftovers are delicious!

photo (2)