Monday, June 2, 2008

Mushroom Soup & Spinach Pesto Toast

I reasoned, that the difference in my cooking between my early twenties and, ahem, not-so-late twenties is that I challenge myself to use more natural produce. Sure, I cheat once in a while - cubed chicken stock here, canned fruits there... but these days, I prefer wholesome, fresh, straight-from-the-cow stuff. It could do well because I've got time on my hands but I'm also valuing my health more.

We're all guilty of the instant food days - instant noodles, instant rice, instant coffee - it's no wonder we're instantly losing our minds. All rush and no fresh food makes Jane quite insane. Perhaps, my one of my values in this blog is to inspire every twenty-something out there to take the time and simply enjoy your food.

Food is not just food. It's not just to fill up. It's about nourishing your soul in the company of friends, family, partners, lovers and even your self. It's about the process. Cutting, stirring, kneading, dicing... putting energy and love into making the food... it's a relationship. It's a dance. It's therapy.

Today's food for thought: Life's short. Take time and smell the pesto.

P.S.: If you're wondering about the Baked Caramel Custard. It was beautiful, thanks.
Okay, okay, Mr. G and I finished it all up before I could take any photos of it. I'll make them again and shoot them just for your sake.

Mushroom Soup (serves 4)
2 tablespoons olive oil
20g butter, chopped
1 large onion, chopped roughly
5 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2 cups flat mushrooms diced
4 cubes vegetable stock (3.8g each)
4 cups of water
1 cup thickened cream
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil and butter in a saucepan.
  2. Throw in onion and garlic. Cook, stir until tender.
  3. Add mushrooms. Stir often and leave to cook until soft.
  4. Pour in water. Partially simmer for 20 minutes. Add cubes of vegetable stock.
  5. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  6. Process soup in batches until well combined. Return to stove.
  7. Add thickened cream under low heat.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and finally, serve.

Spinach Pesto Toast
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (if you're afraid of garlic breath, reduce to *4 cloves)
4 tbsp of water
225g spinach, blanched
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of natural seed mix with pine nuts
25g grated Parmesan cheese
sour dough bread

  1. Process nuts, garlic and water until nuts are chopped.
  2. Add small amounts of basil and spinach alternately with oil. Process until smooth.
  3. Slather a slice (or how many you'd prefer) of sour dough bread with some butter. Put in the griller for about a minute.
  4. Spread the pesto on the bread. Add some cheese. Return to grill.
  5. Remove bread when cheese has fully melted.
Note: Store leftover pesto sauce in a screw-top jar and cover with a little olive oil and sea salt for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.



noble pig said...

It looks wonderful like swirled pumpernickel bread, nice presentation.