Recently, I’ve been asked by some of the newer missionaries and volunteers what are quick and easy dinners to make here. Getting used to the more limited ingredients and learning that a lot more is possible than you first expect takes time but it’s reassuring to know that others have gone before you!
One friend, when they first got here, came round for dinner and commented ‘I know I was told that there wasn’t very much here ... but there really isn’t very much here. Is that really it?’!!! We chuckled a lot.
Thankfully I've been able to pass on my pasta sauce recipe to others! We use it to go with pasta and veggies, or as a base for chilli, spaghetti bolognese and lasagne! There are a few extra steps to it out here. Blanching tomatoes is a little time consuming, so one of the first things I did was teach my house mama how to make it and she whips up a batch every week that we can use for a couple of meals. (It freezes really well!)
When we lived in the States we were able to go out for a lot more meals and try different things, some of which were very American and not regular every day stuff for a Brit. One place we only went about half a dozen times was Panera Bread. The food was delicious and fresh but the nearest one was over an hours drive away!
I am not a soup person but at Panera Bread, they served the most delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup. When we had the treat of broccoli recently, we thought it would be even more special if we could have the added treat of the broccoli in that soup. It's amazing how different treats can become out here when simple things aren't available!
Thanks to Pinterest I found a copy cat recipe and now when we get broccoli (only three times since we moved here, seven months ago) we eat some of it fresh and use the rest to enjoy a bowl of this delicious soup!
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups half-and-half or skim milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 pound fresh broccoli (florets only)
- 1 cup carrots, julienne
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan/stockpot
- Saute the onions in it
- Add the flour and mix it in for a couple of minutes
- Slowly add the milk - mixing the whole time
- Slowly add the chicken stick - mixing the whole time
- Simmer for 20 minutes
- Add broccoli and carrots and cook on low for 25 minutes
- Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
- Puree with a blender
- Heat over low heat and add cheese until melted