Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity Guest Chef Sonia’

Celebrity Guest Chef Sonia shares her world class Sweet Potato and Ginger Cream Soup Recipe

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Wow, did summer pass by fast or what? Luckily we were able to catch up with Celebrity Guest Chef Sonia after she returned from a 6 week culinary seminar she was hosting in the Mediterranean and with the fall weather looming in the background, we were very fortunate that she shared one of her best recipe’s “Sweet Potato and Ginger Cream Soup” with us. Not only is this soup delicious, but wow does it hit the spot on a chilly day.
Thank you for sharing with us Chef Sonia.

Ingredients Required:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled raw sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large Vidalia onion, dice into large pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch sugar in the raw
3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (can use whole milk or fat free)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garnish: chopped honey-roasted peanuts


1) Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.

2) Add sweet potatoes, then vidalia onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

3) Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.

4) Add ginger, nutmeg and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.

5) Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

6) Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid’s pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To ‘clean’ the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)

7) Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is soup-like, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.

Celebrity Guest Chef Sonia’s Sarma Recipe

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Once again our crew was in Toronto and had the honor of meeting up with Celebrity Guest Chef Sonia. For this visit, she was preparing one of her world class recipes, Armenian stuffed grape leaves, also known as Sarma. Though it seemed like a challenging recipe, she made the preparation with ease and the final product was amazing. We had to share the recipe with our readers.

• 1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb or beef (not lean)
• 1/2 cup rice or bulghour, or a combination
• 1/4 cup green bell pepper [chopped fine]
• 1/4 cup Armenian or Italian parsley [chopped]
• Cayenne pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon basil
• 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
• 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
• 1 medium yellow onion [chopped]
•Combine the above ingredients and knead into a dough. A little water may be added to ease the blending.
• Grape leaves or Cabbage
• 1 cup water or 1 can Swanson’s® chicken broth or beef broth
• 8 oz crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• Take a large teaspoonfull of the filling and place on the grape leaf and roll up turning in the ends. Take a few of the large tougher leaves and line the bottom of a covered casserole. Place the rolled grape leaves side by side and layer upon layer. Pour over the crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, lemon juice and broth or 1 cup of water. Cover and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour. Try this dish with a large dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream on top.

Celebrity Guest Chef Sonia’s Armenian Lehmejun Recipe

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

This pizza-like, thin, round dish, topped with herbs and minced meat, also known as Armenian Pizza, Lahmajun and Lahmajoon, is very famous in Armenia, some Middle Eastern countries, as well as Canada and the United States. Like any other pizza-like recipe, it is certainly nice to have a brick oven to bake Lahmajun, but I can assure you, it is absolutely doable in a simple conventional oven. Do not get upset if something doesn’t go the way you wanted. You can always alter the recipe, according to your own need and taste.


* 3/4 teaspoon dried yeast
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
* 2 1/4 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Olive oil for bowl & brushing dough


* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 8 ounces ground lamb or chuck
* 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or combination sweet paprika and cayenne pepper
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Juice of 1 lemon


Combine the yeast and sugar with a little of the warm water, and set aside until mixture is frothy. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, along with the remaining warm water. Using your hands, work the mixture into a dough, adding more water if necessary. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until pliable and springy, about 5 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down risen dough and knead on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a log and cut into 2 to 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place on floured surface and let rest 30 minutes under a towel.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and preheat baking sheets, tiles, or a baking stone.

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter in a skillet, add the onion and saute until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly with your fingertips. If mixture seems too dry, add a teaspoon of water.

Place a ball of dough on a floured surface and roll into a round, flat circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Place the round on the oiled, preheated baking sheets or tiles. Brush the top with olive oil and spread with a thin, even layer of the meat filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The dough should still be soft enough to roll up.

Squeeze a little lemon juice over each of the hot lahmajuns, and serve immediately either flat or rolled up into cones.