Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Tis the week before holiday and all through the house, no one was home not even my spouse. My countdown has begun and even though I don't have to worry about Christmas shopping, life has been more hectic than usual. The Boy has worked late every night this week and has been horribly sick for the last two. Needless to say, all the wheezing and coughing has kept me awake the last two weeks and it is starting to take its toll.

In addition to caring for the invalid and worrying about packing to go away, I have also been working this week and going for job interviews. Oh yeah, and I've cooked too.

Winter is definitely here. The air is freezing but fortunately it hasn't been grey out. Going to the shops now reinforces that it is winter. Hearty fruit and veg are what is available from local sources- everything else is flown in from everywhere else. I try to take the moral high ground and purchase in season and locally grown but every now and then I have to give in and treat myself to some cherry tomatoes when I need a reminder of summer. I only ever get the small varieties and only if they have that vine smell. When possible I make sure they haven't been flown in from too far.

Last night was one of those nights where you get home late, you're cold and hungry but don't want to spend any time in the kitchen. This soup is easy, tastes good and can be a light starter or filling meal that is ready in 10 minutes. There are no precise and exact quantities for this recipe, you can add more or less to suit your taste so use this as a rough guide.


1/2 Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, cut into rounds or diced (the smaller the quicker it cooks)
1-2 tomatoes chopped (or use 8-12 cherry tomatoes)
1 package tortellini, any flavour
Pinch of dried chili flakes
Tomato paste
Chicken stock (alternatively use 1-2 bouillon cubes plus water)

Heat a stockpot (that is deep enough to make the soup in) over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil; add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the carrot and saute another minute. Add a pinch of chili flakes and tomatoes. Add 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of tomato paste (more paste will make richer and heavier broth- both ways are good). Add the stock or bouillon (the tortellini will be cooked in this so add the liquid accordingly) and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini (the amount will depend on how many people you are feeding) and cooking as per the instructions on package, which is usually 2-3 minutes. Serve. Fresh basil can be sprinkled on top as garnish once served.