Archive for December, 2009

Soup – Home-made or Canned?

December 12, 2009

There is something about a bowl of hot soup on a cold day! Especially in the weeks before winter holidays when it seems like everyone (me included) is trying to cram too much (shopping, volunteering, partying, visiting) into too little time.

Today between volunteering for Santa’s Breakfast at the Burnside Gorge Community Centre and delivering truffles to @2GlassyLadies at the Moss Street Market Craft Fair; and before the excellent “Little Shop of Horrors” by Canadian College of Performing Arts Company C students this evening, I had time to do a few chores and put on a pot of Minestrone soup.

What about you? Do you make your own soup, or prefer the ease of ready to made, whether Tetra Brik™, can, jar or dried mix?

Here’s my recipe for Minestrone soup. It makes about 4 litres, plenty for a large family, or to freeze for later use.  This soup will also keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days. I usually make a big pot on the weekend and then have soup to take for lunches at work or a quick supper on the run between holiday activities.  Enjoy! Please share one of your favourite soup recipes below.


2 T olive oil

1 onion, diced

2- 4 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium zucchini, chopped

2 potatoes, diced

1 large (28 oz/796 ml) tin tomates, diced

1 can (19 oz/540ml) white or romano beans, drained and rinsed

3 -4 cups stock or water with 2 bouillon cubes

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

400 gm Italian sausage, cooked and removed from casings, sliced (optional)

1 – 2 c. small pasta like ditalini or shells, cooked separately.

grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally until softened.

Add carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Add zucchini and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Add potatoes and cook, mixing occasionally, 3 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, broth, water, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Cover and bring to a simmer; adjust heat and simmer gently until all vegetables are done (30 -45 minutes).

Add cooked pasta and sausage if desired.

Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Some recipes say to cook the pasta with the soup; it can get thick that way.


#yyj Twitter #Fooddrive Results & Update

December 10, 2009

Saturday December 4th saw the Victoria BC #yyj Twitter community join together in support of the Mustard Seed and Westshore Food Banks.  Rocky Mountain Soap, Fiber Options and Jamtots agreed to be our drop off spots.

Thanks to Scott McDonald  (aka @FootButterGuy) of Rocky Mountain Soap for the updates for Victoria proper(Megan from Fiber Options – now EcoEverythingBC – took the donations from her store to Scott).

There was a total of $146 in cash, 7 large bags and one very large plastic packing box of food.

Food items donated were:  mostly pasta, tuna (31 cans) and peanut butter but also fruit  cups, Xmas candies, chocolate, tea, granola bars – total pieces 213.

22 twitter people came in, among them:

@yukarip– thanks for having the initial idea of a Christmas and holiday season fundraiser Yukari






@toots11– thanks for tweeting from @ecoeverythingbc Janice



Scott apologizes for not getting the names of all.  “There were more but I didn’t catch them all, many came before I got

In addition out on the West Shore both @kevinaschenbren and @DustypupVI devoted their day to tweeting @Jamtots. Thanks Kevin and Cathy.

@wakemp and @RasheedBolade came in to make donations.

Quoting Scott “Would we do it again?  Absolutely. The Mustard Seed people were delighted.”

We’ll get updates from @Jamtots and report back soon.
Thanks again to everyone who participated. If your name is not on the above list, please let me know. I’d be happy to add you.

At the #victoriatweetup this morning we were already  discussing our next fundraising initiative – should it be another food drive (say in July) or back to school supplies in August or??  Give us your ideas.  Comments welcome.