If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I have a soft spot for Latin America and fusion cuisine, thanks to a few of years that I spent in Venezuela. In fact, one of my earliest blog posts was for a Greco-Latin dish, Cincinnati based Chef José Salazar's Ceviche with Sea Fennel. José Salazar is one of my favorite Chefs in town, both for his creativity in the kitchen and for his caring character. José and I worked together at the Contemporary Art Center's Cuisine Art Cocktails book that I wrote about in another early blog. José's Mita's Restaurant is now closed but he's turned it into a relief center, working with the Lee Initiative to offer free meals to restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus closures. It's a wonderful initiative for a group of people that has been hit really hard by this crisis, so if you'd like to donate, here is the link.
This week, I came across another Greco-Latin fusion soup, courtesy of another Colombian friend of Zelos, Juan, who lives in northern California. He made a delicious-looking soup with Agrozimi's egg & milk kritharaki and fresh vegetables and sent us a picture that I just had to share. The rich orzo pairs wonderfully with all sorts of vegetables for a hearty, filling minestrone-type of soup - and it's fast enough for a warming lunch break for everyone working and studying at home. Juan's tried to capture his recipe in writing, but like all good dishes, you can play around with it as you like, adding your own touch - dial up the Greek, dial up the Colombian, dial up the Italian and enjoy!
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced tomatoes (preferably without the skin)
5-6 cups of chicken broth
3-4 cups chopped baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
A few tips of cilantro
3-4 chopped green onions
Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil until translucent.
Add the garlic, carrots, tomatoes and chicken broth. Let it come to a boil, and then add the orzo and some salt and pepper. Cook until the orzo is al dente, approximately 12-15 minutes, depending on your taste.
Add 3 or 4 cups of fresh spinach, a few twigs of cilantro and a few chopped green onions, and cook about 2 more minutes.
Serve immediately, adding some parmesan to taste. Garnish with avocado slices and enjoy with a whole wheat tortilla.
If there is one silver lining in this coronavirus cloud, it's that we're cooking more at home and eating more meals together, and that can only be a good thing, especially if you're able to make healthy, wholesome food, like Juan's soup, to share with loved ones. Love through food has always been a theme here at Zelos and there doesn't seem like any better time to keep it going. So send us your own culinary creations and we'll keep sharing them (and trying them!) in our blog and on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
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