What type of cook are you? That is the question Jeanine Donofrio, creator of the wildly successful blog Love & Lemons and bestselling cookbooks by the same name, asks her readers in her newest book, Love & Lemons: Simple Feel-Good Food.
Jeanine is beloved for her bright and breezy cook-from-the-hip style where trips to the farmers market lead to impromptu, seasonal meals. But, as life has gotten busier (she’s a mom now), meal plans and weekly prep have entered into the rotation, too.
Over the last few years, Jeanine has realized that getting fresh, nourishing, and flavour-packed meals to the table daily is doable through different approaches. After engaging with millions of her followers, two cooking camps crystallized: those who love easy, at-the-ready dishes that can be made at the drop of a hat and those who like to plan in advance (like Jeanine’s mom who always has a whole lasagna in the freezer, a trick Jeanine has since adopted). Now, for the first time, she’s put pen-to-paper serving up feel-good recipes for both types of home cooks, and those who toggle between, just like herself.
In Love & Lemons: Simple Feel-Good Food, each chapter—Breakfast, Salads, Soups, Dinner, and Dessert—is divided into two parts: one for recipes made with minimal prep and ingredients (“at the ready”), and the second for food prepared ahead of time (“in advance”), whether that be components or full dishes destined for the freezer. Here, morning meals can be met with quick-to-assemble Spiced Chickpea Waffles or Skillet Granola while pre-made pancake dry mix ensures a fluffy stack is just minutes away.
Rainbow Blender Soups turn one base into four colorful bowls while Tortellini Soup with Lemon Peel Broth offers an elegant, no-waste trick. Quick, meatless mains include Spring Pea Fritters with Whipped Feta, Chickpea Cacio e Pepe, and a range of sheet pan dinners such as Eggplant Sheet Pan Shawarma, while two different homemade veggie burgers (White Bean Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Paneer) require some forethought but store brilliantly. Moreover, eight no-waste meal plans (what Jeanine calls 3-in-1 recipes — three dinner dishes made with one whole vegetable) further provide kitchen ease without sacrificing flair or freshness.
And, as with her previous books, scattered throughout are Jeanine’s signature flow charts, offering visual guides to reusing, mixing, and matching ingredients to create fresh, must-eat dishes for grain bowls, lasagnas, tacos, and more.
Love and Lemons Simple Feel Good Food: 125 Plant-Focused Meals to Enjoy Now or Make Ahead by Jeanine Donofrio
Tortellini Soup with Lemon Peel Broth
You may have noticed that there are quite a few lemons in the recipes in this book. Whenever a recipe calls for fresh lemon juice but not lemon zest, I peel the lemon before I juice it. I freeze the peels until I have enough to make this brightly flavoured golden broth. Since the broth is so good on its own, I always pair it with simple ingredients, like the tortellini and fresh veggies here, to highlight its delicate flavour.
LEMON PEEL BROTH
- 4 celery stalks, including leaves
- 2 garlic bulbs, sliced in half horizontally
- Peels from 4 lemons
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 10 cups water
- Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Strain and discard the vegetables, peppercorns, and lemon peels. Season to taste.
- 9 ounces store-bought tortellini
- 4 cups Lemon Peel Broth
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Prepare the tortellini according to the package instructions, cooking until al dente.
- Drain and set aside.
- Warm the broth in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked tortellini, spinach, peas, lemon juice, and half the basil. Stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Season to taste.
- Portion the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, the remaining basil, several grinds of pepper, and pinches of red pepper flakes, if desired.
VEGAN: Use vegan tortellini (we like Kite Hill).
TO STORE BROTH: Allow it to cool to room temperature after cooking. Transfer it to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
© Excerpted from Love and Lemons: Simple Feel Good Food Copyright © 2023 by Jeanine Donofrio. Published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.