The recent gap in blog posts is due to a serious health issue for my husband meaning necessary time away from my computer. I probably missed the posting more than my readers, but I did get some time in the kitchen. Here is one of the results.

I have never traveled in Greece but I love to cook and eat Greek food. I think one reason is my own feelings are mirrored in the Greek philosophy of hospitality – well said in a recent Costco publication sent to members.

“Greeks are known for their hospitality; they don’t like to let people leave without giving them something to eat or drink. It’s considered an expression of love to cook for friends and family…And eating in Greece is a ritual, never rushed. It comes with the whole package of food, wine, ouzo and conversation. It’s the Greek way.”

This soup will go on our favorites list. It is my version of one I saw in the Costco article which gave credit for the recipe to Laura Langston.  I served it for a Sunday night supper with crusty bread. As with many soups, it tasted even better the next day for lunch.


3 cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

5-6 celery stalks with leaves, chopped

6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

28 ounces passata, or tomato puree

6 cups of water (add more if the soup begins to thicken more than you like)

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

juice of 1 lemon, plus 2 lemons to wedge and offer at serving

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley served as topping

crumbled feta cheese served as topping

Add 3 Tablespoons olive olive oil to large soup pot and heat over medium heat. Saute onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add beans, tomato puree, water, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for an hour. Add juice of 1 lemon. At serving time, top each bowl with chopped parsley and feta cheese. Pass lemon wedges. Makes 8 large servings.




Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables

When I want to put a simple but hearty meal on the table for a family gathering, I like to use one pan dishes like this one. Any combination of veggies can work, but an assortment of root vegetables sprinkled with salt and chopped rosemary from the garden is one of my favorites. I you do not have a large baking pan like this one, do the same thing in 2 smaller Pyrex dishes. This recipe serves 10.

Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables

10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

3 -4 cups small red potatoes

2 red onions cut in large pieces

6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks.

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil (add more if needed to coat all vegetables).

Spray a large (commercial size) baking pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel and line sides of baking pan. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper

In a large bowl, toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour into center of rows of chicken, filling in spaces around the chicken. Sprinkle all with chopped rosemary. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is done and vegetables are fork tender. If you wish, put the pan under the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes to brown the chicken breasts. Serve in pan or remove to large platter with one or two fresh rosemary sprigs as garnish.