My passion is creating vs cooking. I grew up in Orange County, California near the beach and played competitive tennis. But even as a young girl, I loved creating things in the kitchen. Making something from nothing... all it takes is a glance at my pantry or a look at the leftovers in the refrigerator, and recipes form in my head. I also love the challenge of taking recipes I grew up with, you know the ones grandma made with full fat ingredients, and recreating lower calorie versions. I eat a mainly vegetarian diet, so many old family recipes are “reborn” to fit my healthier lifestyle.
In 2006, my husband passed away from cancer and many times when I feel alone, I go into the kitchen and create. Soup not only warms you from the inside out, it brings back warm memories. I put love into every pot of homemade soup I make. All four of my children enjoy my soups...from my youngest daughter, age 11, to my son, age 12, to the two older Sons, that came into my life, with my Husband. My daughter is so crazy for my soups that we dubbed her, “the official soup taster”. What a great way to get lots of vegetables into your family meals!
People often don’t stop to think that cooking is just like everything else...it takes practice. When I hear, "I don't cook", it inspires me to encourage others to give it a try. It’s amazing how so many recipes are basically so simple. Especially soup recipes. And with our easy, how-to pictorial series, you are guided step-by-step.
I hope to pass along fun, healthy, and delicious new things for you to try, by adding my best recipe creations to our website. I am honored that you follow From Garden to Soup Bowl, thank you. I plan on indulging in my passion and creating yummy recipes for you to enjoy, for many years to come.
To your good health...Jan
Growing up, I fell in love with our family staple, my Mother’s beet soup. To this day, I can eat it all day long, every day of the week. But my most striking memory is of my Father cooking his sorrel soup for me when I was 4 year old. I ate it with my friend at the table, which also served as a desk for my older brother to do his homework. You see, my whole family lived in just one small room and shared a communal kitchen with 4 other families, in our Soviet Union apartment.
When I was 19, the Soviet Union collapsed. Suddenly, my life in Latvia changed. I was free to taste all of the new foods now available. This is when I tried my very first banana and tasted yogurt for the first time, too.
I moved to the United States in 2001. I soon discovered that I’d married a soup lover! I remember his first request, as I headed out to the door for the farmers market, “Vegetable soup...just vegetables”. The concept was foreign to me. I started to build a life for us, around the table. I made a ritual of gathering in the kitchen every night, to share our meals. Our son, Philip, joined us in 2009. He is the true inspiration behind the healthy recipes I create.
When I cook in my kitchen, I am never alone. I bring my Father and my Mother and every meal we ate together with me, in treasured memories. In February 2013, I decided to start a soup blog with Jan, my co-worker. I believe cooking is truly inspired by love. I enjoy sharing with you, the recipes
I create from the heart and the experiences behind them.
We love your comments here at From Garden to Soup Bowl. We would like our comment area to be a pleasant experience for each of us to ask questions, share ideas and exchange good cooking practices. Please use this space as if we were sharing a bowl of soup together over our dinner table. If you would not say it to us at dinner please do not say it here. Please be respectful, appropriate and nurturing. We would love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions.
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Pictures taken by Nellie Zamascikova at: http://www.zammphotography.com/