Food for Friends

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Browsing From My Garden

Radish Green Soup


Makes 4 servings

This year we decided to plant a whole bed with radishes and beets. I LOVE the radishes now that they are ready. It’s a quick crop and the greens are lush and super lush. Radishes are from the cruciferous family, and they are related to broccoli and cauliflower.  Both the roots and the stems are crunchy and spicy, full of vitamin C (especially the green tops), iron, potassium and folic acid… as well as very good fiber. This soup is a great way to use radish greens, especially if they come from your garden, I just hate watching such beautiful greens go to waste.  This recipe is great for any kind of strong green though, such as kale, mustard, swiss chard, etc.  It’s also an awesome way to use lettuce that is not perky enough for a salad but still has life.


  • olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups of washed, chopped Radish green tops (or some other strong green)
  • 2-3 medium potatoes cubed small (starchy ones are better but any will do)
  • 1/2  onion minced
  • 1 tbsp. mustard powder
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • A couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A couple teaspoons of yogurt
  • Croutons


  1. In a soup pot or deep sauce pan sauté the onions on a little bit of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of melted butter.
  2. Sauté the potatoes until they are cooked through, about 10 minutes
  3. Wilt and sauté the radish greens, stirring often, they will get a lot smaller in size in your pan.
  4. When the greens are fully wilted, add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  5. Start toasting 4 slices of bread (whole wheat was stellar)
  6. At this point you need to blend the soup mixture.  I used a hand-blender, but you can use a normal blender or a food processor, just be careful because hot liquid splashes when you try to blend it, so do it in batches. Blend it until it’s creamy.
  7. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes to reduce a bit.
  8. Add the mustard powder.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir. Let it simmer for a couple minutes more.
  9. Take the toast and cut the crust off, OR take a cooke cutter with your favorite shape (I use a big star) and cut a star-shaped crouton.
  10. When you are ready to serve, fill the bowls, add a dollop of yogurt and a crouton on top.

Zucchini Soup with Herb Pistou


Zucchini SoupThis soup was an experiment based on a recipe found on, I ended up making some “adjustments” to fit fresh ingredients from our garden and it turned out AMAZING.  You can make it quickly for a weeknight dinner or you can dress it up and serve it for company.  SO good!

Pistou n. A sauce made of garlic, basil, olive oil, and often Parmesan, used on pasta or in soups and stews.  [French, from Provençal, from pestar, to crush, from Old Provençal, from Late Latin pistre; see piston.]



  • 4 large zucchinis roughly chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tabsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • 1/2 of a cup of  loosely packed parsley
  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of mint leaves
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • Salt to taste


Heat oil and melt butter in a big pot.  Add the onion and cook it until it’s transparent and fragrant.  Add the vegetables, salt, pepper and sautee for a few minutes, then add the chicken broth.  Simmer on low for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.  Let cool a little bit and then puree using an immersion blender, or put in the blender in batches being careful not to make it explode and get all over your kitchen if it’s too hot.  Return to pot and keep warm.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.

This is a slight variation from traditional Provençal Pistou, but it really kicks up the flavor of the recipe.

Make the Pistou:  In a food processor pulse all the herbs and the salt until chopped, then add the water and pour the olive oil until it comes together (about 1/4 cup).

Ladle the soup in bowls and add a tablespoon of the pistou in the middle.


If you want to make the soup look more elegant, you can coat a few zucchini blossoms with seasoned flour and deep fry until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.  Toast a couple slices of whole wheat bread and using a cookie cutter cut some croutons out.  Place a zucchini blossom and a crouton next to the pistou in the soup.  You will really impress guests!

Garden Vegetable Pasta


Garden Pasta 2This is more like a process than an exact recipe.  We have been lovingly tending our garden this Summer and we’re starting to get amazing results.  We harvested our first zucchini and a few tomatoes, along with many delicious herbs.  So I decided to make this pasta for dinner tonight.  It turned out delicious and very flavorful, but not heavy on your tummy like some of the heavier marinara type of sauces.  These are the ingredients I used, but you can switch it up depending on what you have around.


  • Pasta (I used Penne but bowties, oricchete or rotini will do)
  • 1 large zucchini diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • Corn (about one ear’s worth cut off) but you can use a bit of frozen sweet corn
  • 2 medium tomatoes or about 4 small romas, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • Fresh herbs, chopped (I had basil, oregano and thyme, but you can use parsley or whatever you have, I put in lots)
  • A good squirt of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • White wine and reserved pasta water (about 1/2 cup of each as necessary)
  • Grated lemon peel
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Garden PastaCook the pasta in a big pot.  While it’s cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion and garlic until very fragrant.  Add the rest of the veggies and saute for a little while until they start getting soft (but not too much),  add the butter, half of the Parmesan cheese grated, grated lemon peel, herbs and wine. Bring to a boil.  The pasta should be ready by now, drain (but reserve like one cup of the water) and put in the pan with the sauce.  Add a bit of the reserved pasta water.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with extra Parmesan shavings on top and a cold glass of white wine.

Lavender Lemonade


Lavender bunch before dryingThis is the first of several lavender recipes I will add to my blog this Summer.  I LOVE lavender, it’s probably my favorite herb.  It’s purple (my favorite color as you know), it smells great, it has soothing and relaxing properties and old herb lore lists many “magical” attributes for this fragrant herb.  For me it’s definitely magical as it reminds me of the Summer I spent in Provence.  I’m very lucky because the house we bought in Fort Collins has an amazing set of Lavender plants in the front yard.  There are about 10 plants, 9 are English Lavender varieties, probably Sachet, and one is a darker flower, probably Spanish Lavender.    This year I have started harvesting the blooms and making little bunches to hang upside down to dry.  The whole house smells yummy!

Lavender Lemonade


  • 2 cups of water for the syrup
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 20 fresh lavender sprigs, stems and all and 1 tbsp lavender leaves OR  1-2 tbsp of dry lavender buds (which tend to be stronger than fresh if you buy them at a gourmet store).
  • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 2-4 cups of water
  • Ice
  • Fresh lavender sprigs for decorating
  • Thin slices of lemon for decorating


Lavender Lemonade 02Boil 2 cups of water and dissolve the honey and sugar in it.  Put the lavender sprigs and leaves, cover and let it sit for at least half an hour and up to 24 hours (you can put it in the fridge).

When the syrup is ready, strain the syrup into a glass pitcher and remove all the lavender sprigs and leaves.  Add the lemon juice, more water and ice.  Stir well and add a few sprigs of fresh lavender blooms and a few slices of lemon as decoration.

This is the prettiest summer drink EVER!!!



Delicious bowl of gazpacho with herbs.Gazpacho is one of my favorite “soups” in the world.  It’s best when you make it in the Summer, when the tomatoes are delicious and very ripe. Don’t skip the step of peeling and seeding the tomatoes, that will make the final product much sweeter and delicious.  I serve it in chilled bowls, just place them in the freezer for an hour or more and they will keep the “soup” nice and chill!


  • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes (ripe romas, vine ripened or heirloom will be good)
  • Tomato juice or clamato
  • 1 cucumber see ded and diced
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1/2 onion dice d (red onion is good)
  • 1  jalapeño ch ile minced (you can seed it for less heat, not include it at all)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1-2 tbsp of balsami c vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce – a couple dashes to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
  • 2 slices of day-old bread or about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, whatever you have), don’t chop until right before serving


Peel and seed the tomatoes.  The easy way to do this is to boil a pot of water.  With a sharp knife make an X shape on the tomato skin on the opposite side of the stem belly button.  Place them in the boiling water for 15-25 seconds depending on the size of the tomatoes.  Then put them in an ice-water bath or run them through very cold water.  They will be easy to peel then as the skin will just curl off.  Then cut them in half or quarters and squeeze the seeds out.  This is is an extra step but it will make a difference on the texture and flavor of your finished gazpacho.  I promise!

Put the chopped veggies (onion, green pepper, cucumber and jalapeño) in a bowl and mix.

In a blender or food processor put the tomatoes, half of the veggie mix from the previous step, tomato juice, garlic, olive oil, lime, vinegar,

Place the tomato juice, oil, salt, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, cumin and the bread or breadcrumbs.  Puree all the ingredients into a smooth mix.  Pour this into the bowl with the other chopped vegetables.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight if making ahead. Before serving check for seasoning and adjust as necessary (salt, pepper, lime, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, etc… some times I even put in a couple dashes of tabasco if the jalapeño is not doing its job).

Serve in chilled bowls with a swirl of olive oil and the chopped herbs sprinkled on top.   Serve and enjoy!

Here are the recipes finally. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and never got around to it. Some of you know that I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. There is a certain alchemy that has to happen in order to have the ingredients turn into delicious creations. There is no real secret behind it, just lots of fresh ingredients, time and patience to try things out and some creativity.

Not everything I make turns out perfect on the first try. Most of the time, even when I follow recipes carefully, there are some adjustments that have to be made in order to make it exactly the way I like it. In some cases recipes have failed miserably and a last-minute plan B has been tackled, and in other cases I had to toss the first batch of something and repeat the steps until it works out.

I hope these recipes bring a lot of magic to your meals, just as they have brought magic to mine. They have all been thoroughly tested and I will never post something I have not made myself. Some adjustments may have to be made for dietary preferences or limitations. Feel free to email me or drop me a note if you have any questions.