Sunday, June 23, 2019

Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup & a Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayo for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It has been so muggy and hot this week that although I eat hot soup year-round, it was time to roll out the first cold soup of the summer. I wanted something tomato-based but not gazpacho and thought I would give this Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup from Giada a try, liking the unusual combination of the orange and tomato. Since the soup seemed like it needed an accompaniment and I had tomatoes, bread and fresh basil, I paired it with Ina's Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise.


I did make a few changes to the soup recipe--mainly quantity changes to fit my tastes and lessen the sweetness of the soup just a bit.


Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
(About 4 Servings)

For Soup:
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I reduced to 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2 medium carrots, diced (I used 2 large carrots)
2 large shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups low-sodium broth (I used veggie non-chicken broth)
2 cups orange juice (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 Tbsp maple syrup (I used 1/2 Tbsp)
2 tsp tomato paste (I used 1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste)
1 (28 oz) canned chopped tomatoes

For Topping:
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tsp maple syrup (I omitted)
zest of 1/2 orange

For the soup: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, orange juice, basil, maple syrup, tomato paste and the tomatoes (with juice). Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. (do in batches carefully if using a blender) Cool the soup to room temperature until ready to serve, about 1 hour. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

For the yogurt topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, maple syrup and orange zest until smooth.

To serve: Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and top with a dollop of the yogurt mixture.


Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise
From Ina Garten via FoodNetwork.com
(Yield 1 Serving + Plenty Extra Basil Mayo)

1 cup good mayonnaise
10-15 basil leaves, chopped sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp good olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 slices country white bread
1 tomato, sliced

Whisk together the mayonnaise, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on the top of 2 slices of bread. Place the sliced tomato on top of one bread slice. Place the remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side down, on top of the tomato. Cut the sandwich in half and serve.


Notes/Results: This soup and salad combo made for a perfect lunch on a warm and humid Sunday. I scoffed initially at the "orange-scented" part of the recipe name thinking that with that much orange juice it would be a stronger part of the flavor and maybe overpower the tomato but it doesn't. I did lessen the orange juice by 1/2 cup--mainly because I had a 12-oz bottle and although the orange is there, the citrus notes really complement the tomatoes and make for a good tasting soup. I tried it both hot and chilled and I like it both ways so I think if you aren't a cold soup fan, it's worth making to eat warm. It also paired really well with the tasty tomato sandwich. Basil mayonnaise is a good thing and you get a cup of it so you will have plenty left over even if you lavish it over the bread. The best looking local tomatoes at my grocery were Roma tomatoes and they were very good. I think in a few weeks when heirlooms are more out and about it will be even tastier. Giada and Ina made a good pairing--I will happily make both of these recipes again.


Linking up this chilly soup with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this coming week is our June Potluck. Any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs. 

 
Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog brought Healthy Vegan Sandwich Spread and said, "This spread is one of my favorites. It's high in protein and fiber, low in bad fats, tasty, and Weight Watcher friendly. In addition, it's naturally gluten free and dairy free. It all adds up to one word- HEALTHY! Spreads can be enjoyed in so many ways. Enjoy this easy to make spread on gluten free crackers, in gluten free wraps, on gluten free bread, with lettuce leaves or just enjoy it alone. I love it with a bowl of soup of my quick and easy Italian Spinach Garlic Soup."


Thanks to Judee for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "One Minute Later" by Susan Lewis, Served with a Recipe for Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Summer Berries

It's been a crazy busy and very humid week and I have found myself longing to do nothing more than hang out lazily with the fans blowing, a good book in one hand and a cold refreshing drink in the other. Today I have both with a review One Minute Later, a new novel by Susan Lewis for TLC Book Tours, paired with a glass of Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Summer Berries.


Publisher's Blurb:
 
International bestselling author Susan Lewis’ riveting, unforgettable novel of a woman whose life changes in an instant and the handsome young man with whom she shares a secret history—perfect for readers of Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult and Susan Wiggs.
 
How well do you know the people you love? For one young woman returning to the past, the answer could be heart-shattering…
 
Vivi Shager is living her dream. Raised with drive and ambition by a resolutely single mother, Vivi has a thriving law career, a gorgeous apartment in London, and a full calendar that keeps her busy at work and at play. Then on the day of her twenty-seventh birthday, an undiagnosed heart condition sends Vivi’s prospects for the future into a tailspin. After escaping her roots nearly a decade ago, she’s forced to return to her childhood home to be cared for by her devoted and enigmatic mother. 

Vivi has always known the woman is hiding something and now she’s determined to find out what it is. Though her condition makes her fragile and vulnerable and she’s afraid of what may happen, her spirit remains strong. Then comes an unexpected ray of light.
 
Josh Raynor, a local veterinarian who his sisters claim is too handsome for his own good, brings a forbidden love to Vivi’s world. Josh and Vivi are soon inseparable, unaware of the past their families share. All Vivi knows is that Josh is wrestling with a demon of his own…
 
Then quite suddenly the awful truth is staring Vivi in the face and it changes everything.

Paperback: 512 pages  
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 11, 2019)


My Review: 


One Minute Later is my first book from Susan Lewis and I was pulled in by the storyline of Vivi who collapses on her birthday due to a previously undisclosed heart condition. She feels like her life is over when she is forced to abandon her career and lawyer friends, her flat in London and move back home to stay with her mother Gina while waiting for a heart transplant. It was a somewhat fractious relationship as Gina has kept all information about Vivi’s  birth father secret. We also meet Shelly, who a few decades earlier, building a farm life with her veterinarian husband and young family. Although it isn’t immediately clear what the connection is between these two women, the pieces start falling into place when Vivi meets Josh, a veterinarian and friends with Vivi’s best friend and her husband. There is an immediate attraction between the two of them that builds into a deep connection.

There is a bit of a mystery in putting all of the pieces of the story and family secrets together and I don’t want to spoil it by going into too much detail. There is a lot of sadness in the book, but love, hope and humor as well. Lewis paints a vivid picture of what someone on the transplant list goes through and introduces a real-life person into Vivi’s world.  Jim Lynskey, a young British man waiting for a heart transplant himself started a campaign called Save9Lives to bring awareness to the organ donor program and get people to sign up. In the book, Vivi befriends Jim and helps with the campaign. Since every day three people die waiting for an organ, this is such an important cause and conversation to have with your loved ones, and I liked how the book illustrates that. The story and characters touched my heart, made me think and kept me engaged throughout the book. Although not a light read, it’s a good one.


-----


Author Notes: Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of more than forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense, and crime. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Following periods of living in Los Angeles and the South of France, she currently lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, James; stepsons, Michael and Luke; and mischievous dogs, Coco and Lulu.
 
Find out more at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.


-----

Food Inspiration:

There was a good amount of food inspiration in the book and mentions included coffee, buttery croissants, Americano and a pastry, sushi, cider, eggs, homegrown spring onions, cabbages, carrots, lettuces, and tomatoes, homemade jam, bread, cake, cheese, pates, Wiltshire ham, fresh lemonade, cheese and pickle sandwiches, chocolate, spaghetti bolognese with Parmesan on top, plum crumble with fresh cream, elderfower wine, Spanish lemons for cheesecakes, possets and tarts, fruit cake, digestives, Kinder eggs, seam bream, fresh fruit with almonds, plm and ginger smoothie, fresh salads with all the right oils, luscious avocado and salmon salsa,  organic burgers and sausage, chocolate strawberries, mushroom bourguignon, Sunday roasts, cookies, hot chocolate, spicy punch and roasting chestnuts, minced pies and mulled wine.


Although I was intrigued by the avocado salmon salsa and the mushroom bourguignon, I ended up going with the iced tea that Vivi drank throughout the book--especially the iced tea made with strawberries and another with summer berries grown at Josh's family farm. Since Vivi needed to be eating and drinking more healthily, I modified an Elli Krieger recipe for a Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Berry Ice Cubes, using a berry-flavored white tea and using blueberries and strawberries in place of the raspberries.


Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Summer Berries
Adapted from EllieKrieger.com
(Makes 4-6 servings)

1 cup (4 oz) raspberries, rinsed (I used blueberries & strawberries) 
water for ice cube trays, plus 8 cups water, divided
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup (2 oz) coarsely chopped fresh ginger (I reduced this to 1/3 cup)
6 white tea bags (I used Tazo Berry Blossom White Tea) 
3 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
lemon slices
mint sprigs, for garnish

Place about 4 raspberries in each compartment of an ice cube tray, 6 hours before serving iced tea. Fill with water and freeze. 

Place honey, 2 cups water and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let mixture steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, then strain out solids. In a pitcher combine strained liquid with 6 cups water and lemon juice. 

Chill in refrigerator.To serve, place 3 ice cubes in a tall glass and pour iced tea over cubes. Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.


Notes/Results: Refreshing, not too sweet and a good combination of flavors with the lemon and ginger and the berry in the white tea and fresh berries. I could happily drink this all day long, especially in this humidity we are having this week. My heart-shaped ice cubes with the blueberries melted pretty fast in said humidity, but I think they were cute when I first put them in the glasses with the strawberry slices. I would make this again.


Linking this post and Ellie Krieger recipe to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is At the Beach! recipes suitable for enjoying by the shore.


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "One Minute Later" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Chowder with Spiced Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I could eat chowder every week in the summer. There is just something about the combination of good fresh sweet corn and potatoes and the creamy base that is so satisfying, even on a warm and humid day.  I have had this Ottolenghi recipe tagged for a while now, liking the idea of a drizzle of spiced butter on top of a veggie chowder.
 

Ottolenghi says, “I call this a chowder even though it lacks the non-veggie elements of the traditional New England varieties. The pungent herb butter added at the end gives it a nice kick (for even more spice, add half a thinly sliced green chilli with the potatoes). Though spicy, it's a very comforting dish that works well as a late weekend brunch.”

 
Sweetcorn Chowder with Spiced Butter
(Serves 4)

1 large leek, cut along its centre and then cut into roughly 1cm squares (I used 2, sliced)
3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
30g butter
2 celery sticks, cut into 1cm slices
2 medium waxy potatoes (220g in total), peeled and cut into 1cm dice (I doubled the potatoes)
500ml good quality vegetable stock (I used about 6 cups non-chicken stock)
4 fresh corn cobs, corn shaved off (I used 5 ears of Ewa sweet corn + 5 oz frozen corn)
300ml milk (I used 1 can coconut milk)
20g fresh coriander leaves, very roughly chopped

For the spiced butter:
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp coriander seeds
60g butter
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

(I added 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper)
sea salt and white pepper

Gently sauté the leek in a large saucepan along with the thyme, bay leaves, olive oil and butter. Once soft and slightly translucent, add the celery, potato and stock. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato is almost totally tender. It is important not to over-cook the potato, to ensure a nice, firmish texture in the finished soup.

Remove the bay leaves and add the corn to the soup. Transfer about a half of the soup into another pan and blitz until completely smooth. Return the blended mixture to the main pot and add the milk. Simmer for two to three minutes, taste, season with salt, and remove from the heat.

For the spiced butter, grind the cumin and coriander with a pestle and mortar, place in a dry frying pan, heat up and after about 30 seconds, when you can smell the aroma of the spices, add the butter, paprika, salt and white pepper. Stir to combine, and take off the heat as soon as the butter has melted.

To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls, drizzle each with spiced butter and top with the fresh coriander leaves.


Notes/Results: Chowder that is tasty enough on its own, but raised to the sublime level with the addition of the fragrant spiced butter which adds another layer of flavor and contributes to the silkiness of the soup. It's easy to make and the west coast--almost a California or maybe Baja California vibe it gets from the oil and the cilantro make it unique and a keeper recipe. As usual, Ottolenghi is dead on with the flavors. I will happily make it again.


Speaking of a California vibe, I am linking this soup up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is our monthly Cuisine Spotlight: California. Dishes from any of our IHCC chefs with California feeling ingredients and/or a California vibe.


 Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a classic BLT sandwich and said, "As I mentioned earlier I wanted to hook up with a few cooking events but alas......best laid plans. One of the days we were home watching over Aja we made simple BLT sandwiches. It wasn't a cool and unique offering for Deb`s Souper Sundays event but I think I will bring it to the party after all. Obviously you don`t need a recipe for a BLT. I like to load them with fat tomato slices and use the Trader Joe`s bread. That makes such good toast!"

 
Thanks to Tina for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
  
 Have a happy, healthy week!