Lemon Chicken Orzo

21 days of Soup | September 3, 2017 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_039

We went to Niagara’s Greekfest this weekend – we never miss it!  

After leveling three family size orders of Loukoumades, we all did a shot of ouzo in memory of my dad.

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The EASIEST way to Delight Your Guests

The Kitchen | August 21, 2016 | By

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This is how I have hosted all summer long and it has been the EASIEST and most fulfilling method.  If you, like me, have littles underfoot and a more-than-discriminate aversion to hotdogs, this is a perfect “after bedtime” way to make your tribes-people feel especially loved without causing yourself all the undue stress and preparation of a regular summer get-together.  Let this serve as appetizer, dinner AND dessert.  

Less prep-time equals more face-time!

All you need is a bistro set, a cool night breeze and some creativity.  If you don’t feel like you have the latter, let me show you a few tricks.  It’s cheaper and easier than you think.  YOU are a culinary artist and your trusty old cutting board can be your canvas. 

You will need:

  • 1 hard cheese (like the smoked gouda pictured above)
  • 1 soft cheese (like Boursin pictured above, brie or goats cheese)
  • At least 1 bite-sized cheese (like the bocconcini balls or cubed feta pictured above)
  • 1 sliced meat (like the proscuitto and/or smoked salmon pictured above)
  • 1 hard meat (like the Italian sausage pictured above)
  • Pickles, olives, capers or peppers.
  • 2 or 3 types a fruit.  (Melon and grapes are ideal.)
  • Crackers, bread or nachos
  • Nuts
  • Wine.  
  • More wine.

Step 1: I used my solid cheeses as my focal points.  I spaced them out across my platter.

Step 2: I lined one side of each cheese with meat. 

Step 3: I had my guests fill in all the gaps with whatever contribution they brought. (Not joking.)

Step 4: I did the finishing touches.  (… I corked the wine)

Optional: You can line your platter with colourful lettuce leaves like swiss chard or raddichio.  I topped it off with a sprig of fresh Rosemary.  Or you could tuck fresh leaves of basil in any remaining crevices. Give your guests a pile of tooth picks for easiest self-service. Encourage them to try different concoctions.

YOU can do this! And quite likely on very short notice since most of these are pantry items. Try it out – tonight! And leave me a message in the comments below with some of the different selections you tried!

*Special thanks to my  food good friends over at thecuriousconnoisseur.com for the photography.

This platter (and it’s affiliates) served 8… for about 5 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Pho Soup

21 days of Soup | March 25, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_051

 

Beef Pho Soup
Serves 4
This slightly easier version of the classic Vietnamese soup has a number of ingredients that all have one purpose - to accentuate the broth. It's true. And once you make it you'll understand why.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 whole garlic cloves
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  5. Medium-sized piece of ginger, peeled
  6. 1 chili pepper (thai bird, serrano, or jalapeƱo)
  7. 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  8. 2 whole star anise
  9. 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  10. 6 cups homemade beef broth
  11. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  12. 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  13. 1 to 2 limes
  14. 1/2 pound sirloin steak or eye of the round beef
  15. 8oz dried rice noodles
  16. 1 cup fresh cilantro or basil
Optional garnishes
  1. Fresh bean sprouts
  2. Scallions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Bring the homemade broth to a boil and add the first 9 ingredients.
  2. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Reduce to simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Thinly slice the beef.
  4. Cook the noodles in a separate pot.
  5. Strain all vegetables and aromatics from the broth and discard (or save some for presentation).
  6. Arrange the raw beef in a single layer in bowls.
  7. Bring broth to a 2nd boil and slowly pour over the raw beef until it is cooked.
  8. Add the noodles, fresh herbs and garnish.
Notes
  1. I hate to say it, but if you aren't going to make your own broth... it ain't no pho! It is so worth the extra few steps... and the waiting. You'll most likely eat it all in one meal. But if you don't, store the noodles/beef/vegetables and the broth in separate containers, otherwise the noodles turn mucky.
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Jambalaya Soup

21 days of Soup | March 24, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_071

 

Jambalaya Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 chorizo or andouille sausages, sliced
  3. 1 lb shrimp, tails removed
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 2 stalk celery, chopped
  7. 1 carrot, chopped
  8. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  9. 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  10. 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  11. 4 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
  12. 1/2 cup uncooked rice or orzo.
  13. Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot
  2. Sear edges of sausages over medium-high heat, flipping once.
  3. Add shrimp and cook until red, flipping once.
  4. Add in garlic, onions, celery and carrot and cook until vegetables are soft.
  5. Add in bell pepper, tomatoes, seasonings, broth and rice or orzo.
  6. Simmer on low 20 minutes.
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

21 days of Soup | March 23, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_117

 

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  5. 2 carrots, chopped
  6. 1 cup of white navy beans
  7. 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  8. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  9. 1/2 teaspoon basil
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  11. 3 cups low sodium or homemade chicken broth
  12. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the peppers in half and broil them on the top rack for 10 mins. Flip and repeat then set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile warm up olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, onions, celery and carrots over med-low heat until all vegetables are soft.
  3. Add beans, parsley and spices. Remove from heat.
  4. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove stems, seeds and charred skins. But save a few slices of pepper with skin on for garnish.
  5. With an immersion or upright blender puree the vegetables together adding broth for desired consistency. (I prefer thin and smooth.)
  6. Add heavy cream and garnish.
Notes
  1. Besides the obvious health benefits, the beans add a creamy taste and texture so you can keep the heavy cream to a minimum. This soup freezes great!
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Buffalo Chicken Soup

21 days of Soup | March 22, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_059

 

Buffalo Chicken Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  6. 2 carrots, chopped
  7. 4 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
  8. 1 cup milk
  9. 1 tablespoon bottled hot pepper sauce
  10. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Optional garnish
  1. 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  2. 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  3. Sour cream
  4. Green onion, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in frying pan.
  2. Add in sliced chicken over medium heat until cooked through. Set aside.
  3. Heat up remaining oil in large pot.
  4. Add in the mirepoix (garlic, onions, celery, carrots) over medium heat until vegetables are soft.
  5. Using an immersion or upright blender, puree the vegetables together with the broth.
  6. Return the mixture to the pot and add the remaining ingredients and the chicken.
  7. Simmer on low for 20 mins.
  8. Garnish as desired.
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Cream of Jalapeno Soup

21 days of Soup | March 20, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_035

 

Cream of Jalapeno Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  5. 2 carrots, chopped
  6. 1 green pepper, seeded & chopped
  7. 1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  8. 1 cup navy beans
  9. 4 cups low sodium or homemade chicken broth
  10. 1/2 cup 2% milk
  11. 1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
  12. Salt & pepper to taste
Optional garnishes
  1. Cilantro
  2. Sliced jalapeno
Instructions
  1. Heat up olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add the mirepoix (garlic, onions, celery and carrots) stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add in all peppers and navy beans for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Using an immersion or upright blender (in small batches), puree the vegetables together with the broth.
  5. Add the milk and shredded cheddar.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. I used the beans to give this soup a creamier taste and texture otherwise you need heavy cream and lots of cheese to balance the spice.
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Beef Pot Pie Soup

21 days of Soup, The Kitchen | March 19, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_047

Beef Pot Pie Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 lb stewing beef, chopped small
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  6. 2 carrots, chopped
  7. 1 potato, cubed small
  8. 4 cups low sodium or homemade beef broth.
  9. 1/2 cup frozen peas or corn
  10. 1 pkg beef gravy
  11. 1 cup 2% milk
  12. 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  13. 1 frozen pie crust
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add beef until cooked through.
  3. Add mirepoix (garlic, onions, celeryt, carrots) until softened.
  4. Add broth, potatos and peas or corn.
  5. Make gravy according to package. Add gravy, milk and rosemary.
  6. Simmer on medium-low for 20 mins.
  7. Meanwhile let pie crust thaw 5 mins, then flatten it over a cutting board.
  8. Using a small cookie cutter, arrange "crackers" over a cookie sheet and cook according to package.
  9. Salt & pepper soup according to taste.
  10. Garnish with pie crust crackers.
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

21 days of Soup | March 18, 2016 | By

cauliflowerREV

 

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1/2 head cauliflower, in pieces
  3. Salt & pepper to taste
  4. 4 cups low sodium or homemade chicken broth
  5. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  6. 1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. Toss together cauliflower pieces, olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Arrange evenly on a large cookie sheet.
  3. Broil for 10 mins.
  4. Using an upright blender, puree the cauliflower together with the broth in small batches.
  5. Return to pot and add cream and parmesan cheese.
  6. Bring to second boil.
  7. Serve.
Notes
  1. This is the easiest soup to make and it doesn't need much added flavour. One of my favourites! Except for when the cauliflower costs more than the parmesan...
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/

Coconut-curried shrimp soup

21 days of Soup | March 18, 2016 | By

151231_GTL_Soup_029

Coconut-curried shrimp soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  2. 1 cup shrimp, tails removed
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  6. 2 stalks lemongrass
  7. 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  8. 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  9. 2 teaspoons fish oil
  10. 4 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
  11. 1.5 cups coconut milk
  12. 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shrimp, flipping when they turn red.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, ginger, whole lemongrass and mushrooms until softened.
  4. Add curry paste, fish oil and broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
  5. Remove whole lemongrass and add coconut milk.
  6. Garnish & serve.
Notes
  1. Since it is a prime ingredient, I use coconut milk from a carton instead of a can. The health benefits are worth the extra pennies.
Grace, Truth & Lemons http://gracetruthandlemons.com/