With Gratitude to Jonas

Ok. I have a confession to make. As I listened [last week] to countless news reports warning about the potential for a Winter blizzard, I somehow managed to miss the [official] name of the storm system. I mean, I heard people talk about Snowpocalypse 2016 and Snowmaggedon 2016, but not once did I hear (or pay attention to) the reference to “Winter Storm Jonas”. So, I was the total goofball perplexed by multiple social media references to Jonas and, at one point, even thought someone was trying to see the Jonas Brothers in spite of the horrendous weather. 

And now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, I feel comfortable admitting that I was excited about the possibility of being snowed in for a day or two, knowing that would give me time to play in the kitchen. Yes, I’m that person who enjoys a “day off” so I can explore some of the countless recipes I have beautifully (to me anyway) organized on Pinterest boards. Slowly but surely I’m determined to try everything…I think. 

Now, if I have to decide what to eat as I stare out of the window, watching snowflake upon snowflake fall to the ground, I’m probably always going to choose a great bowl of soup. And because we enjoy tortellini, I decided to try this Creamy Mushroom, Parmesan and Spinach Tortellini Soup. But, in true Chrysalid Transformations cooking fashion, I made some adjustments. 

 Soup Prep 

Soup Prep 

 Creamy Tortellini Soup

Creamy Tortellini Soup

First, and possibly the biggest adjustment, is that I didn't measure much. Actually, I almost never do much measuring...unless I'm baking. Why? Because I believe cooking should be fun and for me, part of the fun is just playing with the things suggested by the recipe and going from there. Sometimes I hit gold. Sometimes not. 

For the all-important creamy-soupy part of the recipe, I did make my roux as suggested, just using less flour. I didn’t have wine or broth on hand so I used a vegetarian bullion cube with water. If you go this route, you’ll need to make sure you kick up the soup flavor quotient with things like bay leaf, additional garlic, thyme, oregano, dry basil, etc. See what’s in your cabinet/pantry and play with it. And then, instead of regular milk, I used coconut milk and a smidge cream. But here’s my note…although the soup was good, I didn’t love the flavor of the coconut milk so wouldn't use it in this soup again. 

As for the veggies and tortellini… I used a fresh tortellini that I like from a local grocery store. Just remember to NOT overcook the tortellini…especially if you think you might have leftovers. Instead of the standard onion, I used a shallot because that’s what I had on hand and I do enjoy the more mild flavor. I chopped the mushrooms smaller than you’ll see in the picture with the original recipe because we usually prefer them smaller. And because I [almost] always have kale on hand, that’s what I used. 

If you check out the original recipe, you’ll see that it was served with a lovely toasted baguette. So, guess who set out to make a baguette on Saturday! Yep! This girl! Unfortunately, it turned out more dense than it was supposed to. Not inedible, just not “perfect”. But, as the old adage goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. So, that’s what I did with these caprese-inspired toasts (no recipe needed) that were de-li-cious! Thank goodness I had the tomatoes and mozzarella waiting on me to give them some attention! 

 Caprese Toasts - Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil 

Caprese Toasts - Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil 

 Same Yummy Caprese Toasts from a different yummy view!

Same Yummy Caprese Toasts from a different yummy view!