Don’t be a bonehead : Turnip soup with greens

In Italian, turnip is rapa; the plural, rape (pronounced RA-peh). Rapa also means bald or shaved head; in slang, una rapa is someone who’s acting like a bonehead. Every time I see one of the college bros who live down the street from me throw garbage into the blue recycling bins, I want to yell:…… Continue reading Don’t be a bonehead : Turnip soup with greens

Forgetting to see : Aromatic chicken soup

Last Friday, I rushed into the fish store. I was feeling behind and in a hurry to finish my errands. I needed some Caponi gluten-free pasta for an event I was cooking the next day. The fish store is the only place that carries Caponi. A large crowd was gathered around the counter ordering pounds…… Continue reading Forgetting to see : Aromatic chicken soup

A soup is a soup is a soup : Minestra di verdure

Last week, my clients had twins. In effort to offer them a modicum of comfort amidst the intensity that is parenting newborns, I made them minestra di verdure. Or was it minestrone? I was trying to mimic a soup we made often during the winter in Rome. I was almost certain we called it minestra.…… Continue reading A soup is a soup is a soup : Minestra di verdure

Cleaning out the spice drawer : Butternut squash soup with ginger and gochujang

You can tell a lot about a person by how they keep their kitchen. I used to cook for a family whose dry spice collection consisted of a massive pile of outdated plastic McCormick spice jars abandoned in a long, thin drawer next to the stove. Most of the spices were so old they clumped…… Continue reading Cleaning out the spice drawer : Butternut squash soup with ginger and gochujang

The humble (Tuscan) bean : Pasta e ceci

Living in Florence for a year, I eventually learned that all things interesting happen in the Oltrarno neighborhood, also known as the Other Side of the (Arno) River. My favorite piazza, Piazza della Passera, is in the Oltrarno. There I spent countless hours sipping cappuccinos with my photographer friend Jen trying to tease out what…… Continue reading The humble (Tuscan) bean : Pasta e ceci

Pre-winter blues : Chickpea, leek, and fennel soup

I’m watching heavy, wet snowflakes fall outside my window. It’s mid-November. The long branches of the stately oak tree in front of my apartment are still filled with golden yellow leaves trying to hang on to what’s already dead, an urge to which I suspect most people can relate. Isn’t it too soon for this,…… Continue reading Pre-winter blues : Chickpea, leek, and fennel soup

A soup for later : Zuppa alla frantoiana

This recipe isn’t exactly spring-friendly, but I just can’t help myself because it is so. damn. good. Bookmark it for next winter when the days get short and hope is spare. Or swap out the squash for zucchini, make it today and let it rest overnight in the fridge to serve the following afternoon at…… Continue reading A soup for later : Zuppa alla frantoiana