Menu Close

Justine Smith’s Eggplant and Pickled Bok Choy Tortellini with Potato Soup

Our dear friends at the lovely Sonora Resort in BC’s Gulf Islands recently put on a “Barnston Box Challenge,” during which their Executive Chef Justine Smith (@chefjustinesmith) took on their Culinary & Beverage Director, Lukas Gurtner (@lukasgurtner) in a socially distanced, toe-to-toe cooking battle using the ingredients from one of our Barnston Boxes. For her entry, Chef Justine created a remarkable eggplant tortellini dish that she was gracious enough to share the (abridged) recipe for, with our lovely customers.

If you’d like to learn more about the Barnston Box Challenge and see more photos and videos of how the magic happened (as well as the full Eggplant Tortellini recipe), check it out here on the Sonora Resort website.


for Potato Soup
2 small potatoes
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
2 cups whipping cream
1 Bay leaf
vegetable stock, to adjust consistency

for Eggplant Filling
2 small eggplants
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
pickled bok choy (see below)
salt, pepper and fennel pollen, for seasoning

for Tortellini Pasta Dough
360 g olive oil flour
5 g salt
100 g whole eggs
90 g egg yolks
6 ml olive oil

for Pickled Bok Choy
2 hd bok choy
300 ml water
200 ml apple cider vinegar
100 ml sugar


for Potato Soup
Slice potatoes thinly on a mandolin and run under cold water to rinse the starch off.

Thinly slice the onion and garlic and sweat on low heat in the butter until it’s cooked through and has no colour.

Drain the potatoes from the water and add to the pot with the onion and the garlic. Add the whipping cream and bay leaf. Simmer this mixture on low heat, stirring often to ensure the soup does not stick to the pot.

Once the potatoes are cooked through, puree all ingredients in a blender and pass through a fine sieve. Return the soup to a new clean pot, season and reserve off the heat until ready for plating.

Use the vegetable stock to adjust consistency if too thick.

for Eggplant filling
Cut the small eggplants in half. Score the flesh using a small knife to make cross-hatches. Season heavily with salt and press the scored side down on a wire rack for 30 minutes (the salt will draw out moisture from the eggplant and aid in the cooking process).

Once cured, heat a small frying pan on high and sear the eggplants until golden brown. Place the pan in the oven to cook through. Meanwhile, small dice one onion and a clove of garlic and sweat until translucent in a small pan, then reserve until ready to mix filling. Once cooked, remove the eggplants from the oven and let cook slightly, before scooping the flesh out of the skin and into a mixing bowl. Mash up to a puree consistency with a fork.

Dice the pickled bok choy quite small. Fold into the eggplant puree along with the cooked onions and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and fennel pollen. Reserve in the fridge until ready to form tortellinis.

for Pasta Dough
Measure out all ingredients before beginning.

Place the olive oil flour and salt into a food processor and turn on high. Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil, and stream into the food processor while on high. Let mix until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Turn the dough out onto the counter and press together until dough forms a ball. Once the ball is formed cover tightly in saran wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

Once the dough is rested, divide it into 3 equal pieces and roll them out with a rolling pin until they are thin enough to fit through a pasta sheeter on the widest setting. Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough to 1/16” thickness.

Using a round ring cutter, punch out all the pasta into the same size circles (keep what you are not working with covered under a kitchen towel).

Working with 10 circles at a time, scoop a teaspoon amount of filling into the center of each circle. Lightly wet half the circle with water using a pastry brush or your finger. Fold the circle in half and gently press together the edges forming a semi-circle. Push your thumb gently into the filling center to form a dimple. Bring the corners together in front of the dimple using a touch of water as your glue to hold them together. Store on a parchment lined baking sheet coated with semolina until ready to cook.

for Eggplant Tortellini
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a simmer. Drop tortellini into the water and move gently with a metal spider to ensure the pastas do not stick together.

After 4 – 5 minutes, the pasta should still be al dente and the filling should be hot inside. Remove into a large pan with melted butter. The butter along with the pasta water that comes with the tortellini will form a glaze.