Sunday, June 13, 2010

Soup, Salad and Sandwich Supper

Tonight's Menu:
Barley and Lentil Soup
Blue Cheese Burgers
Lettuce and Tomato Salad
Fresh Grapes

Barley and Lentil Soup
1/3 cup green-brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cups Swish chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped and packed
1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so used 2)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup pearl barley
3/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté 3-4 minutes until soft.  Add the carrots, then sauté 5 minutes with occasional stirring, until they are golden-coloured.  Add the garlic and stir 1 minute, then add the cumin and stir 1 minute.  Pour in the broth, water and barley.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and lentils.  Continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 25-30 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard or spinach to the soup, cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Thin the soup with more broth or water, if desired.

Makes 5 servings.  The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

DELICIOUS.  PACKED UP THE EXTRA SERVINGS AND PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER.

Blue Cheese Burgers

1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
220 g ground beef, extra-lean or lean
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
20 g blue cheese, crumbled
1 tsp olive oil
2 hamburger buns

Mix together onion, celery, ground meat, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper.  Divide the mixture into 4 portions.  Shape each portion into rounds and flatten each one slightly.  Crumble the cheese and place a small amount in the centre of half of the rounds (about 2 tbsp or crumbled cheese per round).  Place the remaining meat rounds on top of the cheese topped rounds.  Use your hands to mold the rounds together, encasing the crumbled cheese, and shaping them into burgers.
Cook the burgers on a medium grill, lightly oiled, for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through, turning them once.  Alternatively, you may cook the burgers on a non-stick, heavy-bottom pan, over high heat.  (I cooked in a pan over medium heat).
Split the hamburger buns and place a burger inside each one.  Serve with Dijon mustard and ketchup on the side.

Makes 2 servings.

THE TANGY MELTED CHEESE WAS A WONDERFUL SURPRISE WHEN YOU BIT INTO THE HAMBURGER.  HAL SAYS THEY SHOULD BE CALLED YUMBURGERS.  WE JUST ADDED A LITTLE KETCHUP.  THE BURGERS WERE QUITE LOVELY WITH JUST THAT LITTLE BIT OF EMBELLISHMENT.

Fresh Grapes

2-3/4 cup of grapes, rinsed, will serve 2 people.

Lettuce and Tomato Salad

1 tomato, cut into segments
2/3 Boston lettuce, or curly leaf lettuce
2 radishes, finely sliced
1 green onion or scallion, finely sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Classic Vinaigrette (see recipe above)

Place the tomato, lettuce, radishes and green onions in a salad bowl.  Pour in the Classic Vinaigrette.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss and serve immediately.


Classic Vinaigrette

Whisk together 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3-1/2 tbsp wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar) and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS DRESSING.

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