Cream of Broccoli

BroccoliSoup-MayaOryan

Last week, my husband had to travel to Dubai for few meetings, so the kids and I excitedly tagged along, since I also had a one-day shoot for Al Marai brand and my daughters had a long weekend at school.

I found it a great opportunity to spend quality time together and with our beloved “Dubaïote” friends.

From airport to my meeting, kids didn’t mind at all playing around in the big studio and mess with the cameras.

It’s true that I had to work the next day but this in fact was an invitation from heaven to them to Candylicious where they could buy all the sweets they crave for, that Mommy (myself) never allow it and Daddy APPROVES it occasionally. In the evening Axel’s tongue was so green that I had to brush it and Kaia had candy wrappers inside her clothes. Gosh!

I’m blessed with friends like Zeina, Roula, Angy and Fares! During the day we roamed around playing areas, aquariums, the wildlife park and kids places and in the evening my friends offered to baby sit my children so we had the chance to club and celebrate Valentine like honeymooners☺ Dubai you are my kind of getaways: I LOVE YOU!

Family+Collage

Back to reality, I usually come back with batteries fully charged and energy overloading but this time I got back and my heart still there, wish this trip was a little bit longer I really need a break, I’ve been shooting commercials every week since September.

So with the little energy I have, on this week’s menu was soups and salads.

I cooked Cream of Broccoli. I used fresh broccoli, home made stock and skimmed milk, which made my soup a hearty meal to enjoy in front of the fireplace.

Tip: This can also be served in a tea cup as a starter for guests.

Cream of Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 450g fresh broccoli florets, cooked in boiling water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup warm vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & White pepper, to taste
  • 50g Feta (optional)

 Preparation

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté onion until lightly brown and wilt.
  2. Add the cooked broccoli and stir for 2 minutes. Add the warm stock and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Off heat, purée mixture into a blender.
  4. Stir in milk and simmer for 3 minutes. (Add milk or stock until desired consistency).
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Decorate with feta cheese and serve.

Artichoke ragoût with Rice

I opened my freezer to put some ice cream inside and realized that I can’t because it’s packed with Al Wadi Al Akhdar frozen vegetables. I recently was offered the whole range of their products and worked on more than 60 recipes for the re-launch of their website. I’m lucky I know to work on such a quality and tasty brand, but here’s what I encountered: food jam in my freezer!

I wasn’t planning to cook dinner! I was up at 7am, went to the gym, got back with full energy and worked like a happy busy bee, thinking of finishing my day with a nice warm bath and watching TV series in bed. So I stared at my freezer wondering either I eat the entire ice cream and work out an additional hour the next morning (Nope!) or forget about watching TV and cook something easy using some of those veggies.

It didn’t really take me time to decide, I’ve immediately chosen 2 bags of artichokes bottoms, one bag of baby carrots and some frozen coriander. In my recipe here below, I recommend using fresh vegetables, but if you were like me looking for a simple recipe that can be ready in no time, frozen vegetables are always my choice after fresh, especially on busy evenings.

My mom cooks this yakhne – like we Lebanese call a stew– with meat cubes and no coriander in it. It is also delicious, but since I prefer vegetarian meals, this is my version with an extra squeeze of lemon juice just before removing from heat.

“The food was ready in 45 minutes and Serge enjoyed a homemade dinner when he arrived! It just really can’t get any better than this!”.

Ingredients:

  • 500g frozen artichokes bottoms
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • Juice of one little lemon

Preparation

  1. In a bowl combine artichokes, potatoes and carrots. Dilute the flour in the water and pour in.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onions, until golden.
  3. Add the garlic and the coriander, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the vegetables coated with flour. Season with salt and peppers. Cover with water and simmer on low heat until cooked well.
  5. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve with short grain rice and Lebanese flat bread.