Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lord, we eat a lot of soup!

I am realizing we eat a lot of soup these days. I guess its hardly surprising as it is an easy meal to cook and provides at least 2-3 meals worth of food, which comes in handy in households short on time. Yesterday after a long day of work in the backyard (and lunch of fish and chips and beer - backyard work food) I was hankering for something on the lighter side and warm. I had three heads of broccoli in the crisper that desperately needed using and figured the best use for them would be cream of broccoli soup. I don't buy cream and prefer not to cook with it, so in assembling this recipe I made it my goal to create a lowfat "cream" of broccoli soup. Potatoes add to the creamy texture when blended and a touch of lowfat milk gives it the proper color and sweetness. I like my cream of broccoli soup very peppery so I add quite a bit of pepper at the end and serve with hearty multi-grain bread:

"Cream" of Broccoli Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
2-3 medium celery stalks, diced
2 medium red potatoes, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1-1 1/2 lb broccoli, chopped
9 cups veggie broth
2 tbsp good quality Dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil and butter in a large soup pot. Cook onion, carrots, celery and potatoes over medium high heat 5 minutes till lightly cooked. Add 2/3 of the broccoli and all of the garlic and cook until broccoli is bright and green. Add broth, bay leaves and mustard and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the vegetable are cooked and soft (about 20-30 minutes). Using a blender (or immersion blender if you have one!) blend until smooth and return to pot. Add milk and cheese and heat thoroughly. In the meantime steam remaining broccoli until soft. Add to soup and salt and pepper to taste.

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