It’s crazy that it’s been six weeks already. We’re halfway through our stay here, which means only six more weeks until we’re back in Canada (and just in time for winter)!
I wish I could bring the sunshine back with me. It’s going to be strange going from blue skies and T-shirt weather to a parka and clouds.
As I mentioned in my last post, this week has been rather eventful. Paul and I went to the Aeolian Islands to visit three islands a few hours off of main land Sicily: Lipari, Stromboli and Vulcano.
We began our trip in Lipari, which appealed to us for its well known hiking trails, and gorgeous coast. Our first excursion was on what we thought would be a 10 km hike, but turned into a day of over 20 km of walking in the blazing heat without any shade. We also expected that there would be restaurants, or at least somewhere to buy snacks or a drink along the way, but everything was closed. In my head I kept hearing “tourist season is over dummy!!“…but we had to continue.
Towards the end of the hike we saw a lovely little pebbled beach and decided to go for a dip in the sea. Being the cautious swimmer I am, I decided to putt around the shore and swam right smack dab into a jellyfish, which was more annoying than anything else. After the sting, Paul and I started to walk back to Lipari (another 9 km from where we were) and along the way tried hitchhiking for the first time. Somehow, we got picked up AND didn’t get murdered. Our Parents would be proud.
Our next stop was Stromboli Island, famous for its active volcano which is constantly erupting and spewing lava down the side of it. At night we took a boat out to sea to watch the lava flow from the the crater right into the Mediterranean. It was unbelievably amazing!
Of course, seeing lava flow from a boat at night was not enough for Paul. So, we woke up at 5:30am the next day and hiked to another lovely spot where we could watch the lava flow right beside us…freaky.
I must say, watching lava at sunrise is one hell of a morning.
Our last stop was to Vulcano Island, which like Stromboli, has an active volcano as well. This one was different though – unlike Stromboli, it does not have lava spewing from the top, but rather has HUGE sulfur vents puffing stinky yellow smoke.
I’m a bit of a fraud posting that picture. Paul took it, because along the way I got TOTALLY FREAKED OUT by the steep trail and had to wait for him to go to the top and come back down…I played scrabble on my iPhone, if you’re wondering what the heck I did while waiting on a cliff for an hour. It takes the mind off scary things like…you know? Death.
Obviously I didn’t die, and I’m home now! Making my own food for a change, and boy have I got a good recipe for you.
SOUP BABY! And in true Sicilian style.
What I love about this soup is how few ingredients it has.
Mainly: tortellini, spinach, white beans, tomatoes and broth. Topped with fresh parmesan, of course!
Also, this soup is really quick to make. Meaning, it takes me about 20-25 minutes from start to finish….and takes Paul about 40 minutes.
Either way, it’s delicious! So grab a spoon and enjoy a bite of Sicily with me!
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced Italian tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups fresh tortellini (I used spinach and cheese)
- 3 cups fresh spinach, torn into pieces
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Grated Parmesan, for serving
- Sliced crusty bread, for serving (optional)
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the diced tomatoes, beans and dried oregano and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to the package directions. One minute before the tortellini is fully cooked, stir in the spinach and turn off the heat on your stove.
- Taste broth, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to your taste.
- Serve warm with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese and a few slices of crusty bread for dipping.
Recipe adapted from my friend Audra, The Baker Chick
You can use any kind of tortellini you like for this!