Arabic Lentil Soup

>Minoo resumed the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen with 3 recipes.  The first recipe is a lentil soup.  Lentil or daal belongs to the legume family.  Lentil is high in protein and is an important part of the diet for India which has a large population of vegetarians.  Lentils come in many variety with colors ranges from yelllow to orange to green, brown and black.

Regional seasonings can change the character of lentil soup. Minoo made the …


Arabic Lentil Soup:

  • add 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

Other regional variations are:

North African Lentil Soup:

  • add 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads or powder with onion and 1 x 8-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed with broth.

Persian Lentil Soup:

  • add 2 tablespoons orange juice or 2 teaspoons grated orange peel or lemon peel just before serving.


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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

This Butternut Squash Apple Soup is another great recipe in using winter produce. Cold weather calls for a hot bowl of soup.  This creamy soup is flavourful and heart warming.


This soup can be prepared in 40 minutes or less.  The trick to a great butternut squash soup is the simple addition of one tart green apple to balance the sweetness of the squash.


One of the better way to prepare the butternut squash is to roast it.  Simply cut the squash half lengthwise, lightly brush with vegetable oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes in a 350F preheated oven until it is softened.  Roasting brings out the sweetness of the squash as the sugar content is caramelized.

Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, vitamin C and A, magnesium, manganese and potassium.   This recipe serves 4 to 6.


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Hamburger Soup

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again for more fun time cooking some wonderful recipes. For this week’s menu, Charlene prepared four recipes. The first recipe is Hamburger Soup, adapted from


The Hamburger Soup can be cooked on the stove top or in a slow cooker.  This soup freezes extremely well.  Simply ladle it into small plastic containers, label and freeze for up to 3 months.

Paul and Chris worked on this recipe.  Chris is no stranger to this recipe as she often makes this soup at home.


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 x 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cans beef consommé soup (or beef broth)
  • 4 carrots, chopped fine
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • parsley for garnishing
  • salt and pepper to taste



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Ben enjoyed the Gazpacho while we were vacationing in Spain this summer.  Gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup from Spain.  It is best described as liquid salad or ‘salad in the form of soup’.  Gazpacho is a wonderful way to serve summer fresh vegetables.


June and Keiko made this Gazpacho recipe adopted from Elizabeth Shepard.


  • 2 cups finely diced plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced cucumber, seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 46-oz can tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh, plain bread crumbs
  • Tabasco, to taste


P/S: the Italian bread crumb and the nutmeg are not supposed to be in this photo.

This recipe serves 8.


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Corn and Shrimp Tortilla Soup

Carol and Charlene worked on the Corn and Shrimp Tortilla Soup at the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  Looks like we had fewer participants for this cooking meet as Charlene and Stella have to pitch in to help out the teams.

This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and it serves 8.


This Corn and Shrimp Tortilla Soup has the sweetness from the corn, the springy texture from the shrimp and the crunchy texture from the tortilla and a little kick from the jalapeno.  This is a very refreshing soup with the hint of sourness from the lime juice and fresh cilantro.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (16 ounce) can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears) or frozen ones
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used frozen ones)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips



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Italian Wedding Soup

While the meatballs are in the oven, Sydney is busy preparing the vegetables for the Italian Wedding Soup. The term ‘wedding soup’ is originated from the Italian language, minestra maritata which literally means ‘married soup’. It is referred to the green vegetables and meats which go well together.

Joyce was jokingly saying that it’s great to work with Sydney again on this recipe as both of them were working on the Pavlova Roll with Passionfruit Cream with great success at the previous cooking meet. However, she continued to say that she does not need another wedding as she enjoys her single and free life now.


The Italian Wedding Soup is very flavourful and is rich with lots of vegetables, especially the escarole which has a very mild hint of bitterness in it. With the addition of pasta in this soup, it is very filling too and can be a meal by itself. It is also great to serve the soup with some bread sticks which I will blog later.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or beef stock (we used a combination of both)
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, such as ditalini, orzo, or stars
  • 1 12 oz. bag of spinach, or 1 bunch kale, chard, or escarole (broad leaved endive), chopped
  • additional Parmesan for serving



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Salmon and Potato Chowder

Minoo shared this Salmon and Potato Chowder recipe in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. She also shared the following soup tips.

  • homemade stock can be freeze in small batches for convenient use later
  • look for low sodium stock if you are on a low salt diet
  • use vegetable spray on non-stick pan to saute vegetable with minimum fat
  • always simmer soup covered, on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent evaporation
  • when pureeing soup, process in small batches to achieve even smooth texture
  • if soup appears too thick after reheating, add more stock.
  • for more fiber, use unpeeled vegetables, just scrub the skin to clean them
  • leftover vegetables are ideals for making soups
  • to ensure vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus or zucchini to retain good color, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking
  • chop hard vegetables like carrot finely so that they take lesser time to become tender
  • when a recipe calls for canned crushed tomatoes, you can use whole canned tomatoes and pureed in a food processor with the juice, or use fresh pureed tomatoes
  • for a tasty and sophisticated garnish, add a dollop of light sour cream or yogurt to each bowl of soup
  • most soups can be frozen for up to 2 months; reheat gently


This Salmon and Potato Chowder is sweet, creamy and cheesy. The sweetness comes from the onion, carrot and creamed corn. A great soup for brunch and lazy days.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 cans salmon
  • 1 (12 fl oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (15oz) can creamed corn
  • 1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded



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Tomato Soup Chowder

This Tomato Soup Chowder recipe is from Joyce Gerein. Lorna and Carol made this chowder in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. Tomatoes is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant and the storage and temperature affects the amount of lycopene in the fruit. Below is an extract of a hand out from Stella which explains the best way to harvest lycopene.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives tomatoes, watermelon, and red fleshed grapefruits their rich red color. Temperature is an important factor in the development and availability of lycopene in the above said fruits. According to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Ph.D, a plant physiologist who conducted the watermelon study; the normal biological processes in watermelon that produce lycopene are strong at room temperature, while cooler temperatures slow them down. Perkins-Veazie recommends letting a whole melon sit on the counter for up to five days to fully ripen and develop lycopene. Then place it in the fridge to chill before enjoying (unless the melon has been cut, in which case it should be refrigerated immediately). It will taste sweeter and crisper if it’s cold and if stored for two days or less you will not lose any of the lycopene gained wihole the melon sat out.

In the case of tomato, the benefits are actually better when they’re processed. Lycopene in tomato is located inside cells. when the cell walls are broken during processing, lycopene is released and can be absorbed. According to Steven J. Schwartz, Ph.D;, professor of food science at Ohio State University in Columbus; heat alters lycopene’s molecular structure, making it two to three times easier for our bodies to absorb than raw.


This Tomato Soup Chowder is a hearty soup and it’s very filing too, with the potatoes in it. You can have this for brunch with some biscuits for dipping.


For Soup:

  • 2 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 28-oz, can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water

For Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley



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Tomato Egg Soup

The second dish which Lucy showed us in the Gilmore Park Community Kitchen is called Tomato Egg Soup. This is her family’s common soup. This soup has similar texture like the sour and spicy soup you get at most Chinese restaurants except that it’s not sour and spicy. It is a thick soup.


We enjoyed this Tomato Egg Soup as it is not too heavy in flavour. You can incorporate your own favourite vegetables into the soup but I like the texture of the cloud ear fungus. Enoki mushroom, bamboo shoots and tofu are good incorporations for this soup too.


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons diced green onion
  • a few cloud ear fungus, reconstituted, chopped
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushroom, chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • corn starch
  • 6 cups of water or chicken broth



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Potato Leek Soup

Minoo made a staple soup which is Potato Leek Soup. Soup is always great for the cold winter days and what better than a hearty soup with some crusty bread. It is also a great recipe to use up the potatoes which we often buy in bulk in those 10lbs bag.


The leek gave this soup a very refreshing oniony flavour. Make a big batch of the soup and you can freeze your leftover in single portion size in ziplock bags or freezer safe containers and you can have soup any time. Just reheat the soup on the stove on medium heat until it comes back to a simmer. Do not add any cream if you intend to freeze the soup. Add the cream just before serving.


  • 7 large potaotoes (leave peels on)
  • 3 to 4 leeks
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • a little fresh basil (or dried ones)
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 or 2 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried ones
  • light cream (optional)
  • 6 to 8 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste



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