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Caribbean Cooking: Soup and Sandwiches

Soup n A liquid food made by cooking meat, fish, and vegetables and other ingredients in water, milk, or stock

Sandwich n A snack or light meal usually made of two slices of bread or a split roll with a filling, or a single slice of bread with a topping.

With international ingredients becoming readily available in markets across the country, it’s easier and more rewarding than ever for the home and boat chef to add unique twists to old standbys, from the simple grilled cheese sandwich to the tried-and-true chicken soup.

There’s little more satisfying than a bowl of soup on a cool winter’s night or more refreshing than chilled soup on a hot summer’s day.

You can make a soup and sandwich lunch or supper as elegant or as laid back as you want. It can be true comfort food – especially for those who don’t have the time or energy to cook a full meal on the boat or after work.

CHILLED AVOCADO MINT SOUP

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling tine: 1 hour
Serves: 6

2 ripe avocados
1 cup plain yogurt
3 cups chicken broth, cool
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Mint leaves and yogurt

Purée ingredients. (You may want to alter the amounts a little to achieve desired consistency). Chill at least one hour. Before serving, garnish with mint leaf and swirl of plain yogurt.

Hint: Serve in martini glasses
Hint: If avocados are unavailable use prepared guacamole.

GAZAPACHO OR SUMMER SPANISH SOUP

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours or overnight
Serves: 6

3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green), seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 purple onion, peeled and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups tomato juice or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
6 drops Tabasco
Garnish: 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients. Blend half at a time to a coarse puree. Pour into a large glass bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate several hours or overnight, allowing flavors to blend.

Hint: Soup keeps well.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND RED ONION SOUP

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 8

3 lbs. butternut squash (preferably 1 large squash)
3 lbs. red onion, peeled and quartered
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bulb garlic, peeled
8 cups chicken stock or canned low salt chicken broth
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
Garnish: Top with dollop of sour cream and chives, if desired.
                  
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Peel and seed the butternut squash. Cut into pieces (about 2 inches). Put squash and red onion into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. Add garlic, turn squash and onions; roast another 30 minutes at 350ºF until vegetables tender. Heat chicken stock in saucepan. Add roasted vegetables. Purée in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan; add Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.

Hint: The roasted vegetables give the soup a richer flavor than the traditional butternut soup.

GRILLED CORNED BEEF AND FONTINA CHEESE SANDWICHES

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes
Serves: 4

8 slices Jewish-style rye bread, divided
Dijon mustard
1 lb. thinly sliced corned beef, warm
8 oz. thinly sliced Fontina cheese
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalia), thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, divided

Place 4 bread slices on work surface. Spread mustard on 1 side of each. Divide corned beef among bread slices. Top with cheese and onion. Cover with remaining 4 bread slices, press lightly together.

Melt 2 Tbsp. Butter in each of 2 large skillets over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in each skillet and cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Press occasionally with spatula. Turn sandwiches over and cook until golden brown on bottom and cheese melts (about 3 minutes). Transfer sandwiches to warmed plates, cut in half and serve.

GREEK STYLE LAMB BURGER SANDWICHES WITH
SPINACH AND RED ONION SALAD

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. crushed and chopped garlic
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-1/2 lbs. ground lamb
4 hamburger buns, English muffins, or small ciabatta rolls, halved       crosswise
1-1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
4 1/4-inch-thick slices red onion
1-1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Mix first 8 ingredients and 1-1/2 Tbsp. oil in medium bowl; mix in lamb. Shape into four 3/4-inch thick patties. Cook patties in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes each side for medium. Or, preheat grill for medium heat. Brush grill grate with oil. Grill patties 4 minutes each side.  Broil buns until golden, both sides.

Meantime toss spinach, feta onion, vinegar, and 1-1/2 Tbsp. oil in a bowl.  Top each bun with patty. Place salad atop patties. Cover with bun tops.

For fun
Q: What do you call a chicken in a hot tub?   A: Soup
Q:  How do you make gold soup?   A: With 22 carrots
Q:  What is Dracula’s favorite soup? A: Scream of Tomato

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