Feasting on fun foods for fundraising
By Judy Buchenot For The Sun October 11, 2012 10:50PM
Rotarian Tonia Khouri looks over a Soup's On Cookbook from last year's event while fellow Rotarians Rachel Ossyra and Janice Anderson sample a new soup from last year's mugs. Soup mugs and recipe books are given to everyone to attends the event.Judy Buchenot~For The Sun
1/3 cup burghul (cracked wheat)
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
4 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
Place burghul, tomato and lemon juice in a bowl. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes or until burghul has softened. Add parsley, mint, onion and oil to mixture. Stir to combine. Serve with Romaine lettuce leaves.
Lentil and Spinach Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cups water
32 ounces vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups lentils
8 ounces spinach
1 tablespoon garam masala
3 teaspoons ground cumin
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or until soft. Add water and stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add lentils and stir. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Wash spinach, trim ends and finely shred. Add spinach and cook while stirring for three to five minutes or until spinach wilts. Add garam masala and cumin. Stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with Lebanese bread or pita bread.
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:08AM
There are many ways to celebrate diversity, but food is the most delicious.
Two of the many goals of the Rotary Club of Naperville are to promote international understanding and to help others in need. For five years they have been able to work towards those goals with Soup’s On, their annual fundraiser featuring samples of stews, chowders, chili, sandwiches breads, and desserts with a variety of local and international flavors. All funds raised are donated to Loaves and Fishes, Hesed House and PADS, three area charities.
“Naperville is so international that this event is perfect,” said Janice Anderson, a 49-year-old Naperville resident who is serving as chairwoman of the silent auction at this year’s event. She enjoys the many flavors that are served by local restaurants who supply the food for Soup’s On.
Rachael Ossyra, 53, is serving on the international committee for Rotary.
She is very pleased to see the progress the club has made in setting up water filtration plants in Haiti and other places where obtaining clean water has been difficult. Rotary has also sent medical supplies to many countries in need.
It was the Rotarian concept of service above self that attracted Tonia Khouri to join last January. Khouri, 43, has had the opportunity to be part of a new culture through her marriage to her Christian Lebanese husband.
“Food is a very important part of the Lebanese culture,” she notes. “Sharing a meal is like establishing trust. The food is always plentiful and always fresh. I have learned so much about cooking from my mother-in-law.”
One of the many new dishes she has learned to make is tabouli.
“It is important to chop everything very small but you can’t use a food processor,” Khouri said.
“The food processor will smash the ingredients. Tabouli is served with romaine lettuce leaves. The leaves are used to scoop up the tabouli. One way to serve it is to spread out the leaves in a circle like the petals of a flower and then place a scoop of tabouli in the middle.”
Another one of her favorite Lebanese dishes is a healthy lentil and spinach soup which makes a great vegetarian meal. The recipe includes garam masala, a blend of spices that can be found in most grocery stores. Khouri has enjoyed sharing her international views with other Rotarians.
“It has been fun with a purpose for me,” she said.
Anderson notes that although the organization was founded in 1906, women were not allowed to be members until 1986. “I love Rotarian women,” says Anderson. “They are women who work together to get things done.”
The three women invite the community to support Soup’s On, where there will be delicious food and wonderful fun all with a purpose to help feed the hungry. To help others get in an international mood, Khouri shares two of her favorite Lebanese recipes for others to try.
Know someone who really likes to cook and is good at it? Contact columnist Judy Buchenot at Buchenot@comcast.net.