Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

This is a thick and creamy chowder without all the added fat that chowders are usually prepared with.  Using a combination of chicken broth and low-fat milk lowers calories, and blending part of the soup helps thicken it.

Great flavor is achieved by sautéing lots of celery and onion in a small amount of butter till softened, then adding the flour and cooking to incorporate it.  Add the corn, diced potato, chicken broth and seasonings and cook until potatoes are tender.  Then about 1/3 of this mixture is blended in a blender and returned to the soup kettle along with the milk and shrimp.

IMG_9191

To make this a gluten-free meal, omit the flour.  The soup may be a tiny bit less thick, but still deliciously seasoned and filling.  This makes four generous servings with calorie count only 394/serving, and fat at 8g.

We love this soup, and summertime is the perfect time to make it with summer corn at it’s sweetest.  However I made it recently because I ended up with an opened package of frozen corn to use up.  Mr. D. suggested I make corn chowder, so that’s the back story of why I made it now.  Although frozen corn is not ideal, it still gave thickness and corn flavor that was satisfying.

IMG_9193

At serving time I added some chopped green onion, (green parts only) and chopped celery leaves for garnish.  A salty cheese would also be good sprinkled on top such as queso fresco, cojita or feta.  This will add calories and fat so be mindful of that if you are counting calories.

SHRIMP AND CORN CHOWDER

Yield:   Makes 4 servingsIMG_9182

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 medium or 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepperIMG_9184
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • celery leaves, chopped

IMG_9185

Directions:

1.  Melt the butter in a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in the celery and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

2.  Stir in the corn and potatoes, then stir in the flour until incorporated.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaves, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook until potatoes test done.

IMG_9186

3. Remove bay leaves;  transfer about 1/3 of this mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.

 

IMG_9187 Return to a simmer, add the milk, and shrimp.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes.  Season with additional salt if needed.  Soup may be thinned with additional chicken broth if it’s too thick.

4.  Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped scallions and celery leaves.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

 

SOURCE:  a major adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light

 

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom-Barley Soup

Mushroom-Barley Soup

Here I am in my kitchen on the first really frigid day we’ve had.  The wind is blowing and  there’s a light cover of snow on the ground. We’re in for some bitter cold weather…..the Canadian Clipper has arrived.  (Canadian friends, thanks a bunch!).   I’m going to indulge myself today and wear my warm leggings, a sweater, heavy socks and slippers. And as you can probably guess I’m making…..soup!

This is excellent, excellent soup.  If you like mushrooms and you like barley, this combination in a soup can’t be beat. It’s very easy and economical to make and only takes about an hour.

IMG_8546

This is a hearty soup with rich depth of flavor.  It’s even better the next day.  If it thickens up too much you can always add a little water or more broth.  I used two kinds of mushrooms;  baby bella(s) and porcinis that I cut rather thick, so biting into them is like eating meat.  The flavor is outstanding!!

Be sure to taste before adding salt as broth will have some salt in it, even if it’s lower in sodium.  I thought that the 1/4 cup olive oil was a bit too much so only used about half that amount, and the veggies sautéd just fine.  If you use regular barley instead of pearled, it will cook quicker if you soak it overnight.  Pearled barley cooks in about an hour or a little more.  When making soup it’s always best to plan a little extra time, but keep it 98% covered so the broth doesn’t evaporate away while it simmers.

IMG_8547

MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP

Yield:  Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients:IMG_8541

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups beef broth  ( Vegetarians use vegetable broth.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (use 2-3 different kinds if possible)
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

IMG_8542

Directions:

1.  Heat oil in a large soup kettle over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic;  cook and stir until onions are tender and transparent.

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil.

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil.

2.  Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook for a few minutes longer.

Add in the mushrooms.

Add in the mushrooms.

Pour in the beef broth and add the barley and thyme.

 

3.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cover and keep at a low simmer until barley is tender, about 50 – 60 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

Hearty and delicious.  Full of umami flavor!

Hearty and delicious. Full of umami flavor!

 

SOURCE:   Slightly modified from Allrecipes.com

Tomato, Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Tomato-Tortilini-Spinach Soup

Tomato-Tortellini-Spinach Soup

Soups are pretty mundane.  They don’t garner all the razzmatazz that entrees do in a fancy restaurant.  Soups sit quietly in the back row, never speaking unless spoken to.  I think of soups as kind of shy.  They mind their own business, but if you seek them out, well then….they love to be noticed, and they can charm you, but quietly.

I made this soup on a day when I needed soup….and on a day when I needed the soup to be easy, but captivating.  This is a soup that shines when you taste it, but not before.

IMG_8436

The savory onions and garlic go from sautéing, into a pot of hot broth, to which diced tomatoes are added and the seasonings.  Add some fresh cheese-filled tortilini,  cook a few minutes till done, add some spinach, and there it is.    The dried basil and oregano are essential.  They are what makes this soup have that wonderful Italian flavor.  The only thing that can make it better is a shaving of Parmesan cheese on top.   Oh, and a loaf of crusty, crunchy bread to soak up the broth.    Listen closely, and  you will hear Andrea Bocelli singing.

SPINACH-TOMATO-TORTELLINI SOUP

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_8430

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp, dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (vegetarians, use vegetable broth)
  • 9 0z. pkg. refrigerated 3-cheese tortellini
  • 3 cups baby spinach, or 1 box frozen spinach, squeezed dry
  • grated Parmesan for serving

Directions:

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large soup kettle.  Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.

Sautéing the onions and garlic.

Sautéing the onions and garlic.

2.  Add the tomatoes with their liquid, the chicken broth plus 1 cup of water, all the seasonings, the tortellini and salt and pepper to taste.

There's all those lovely seasonings.

There’s all those lovely seasonings.

3.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until the tortellini is tender, about 5 – 6 minutes

4.  Stir in the spinach and cook for 2 – 3 more minutes to heat through.

IMG_8433

5.  Ladle into bowls and serve with  shaved Parmesan cheese as garnish.

Warming, captivating, delicious!!

Warming, captivating, delicious!!

 

SOURCE:   adapted from Cooking Classy

 

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Gad-Zooks!   You planted a few seeds, a harmless enough activity, hoping to get a few zucchini to enjoy over the summer, and suddenly you’re up to your ears in zucchini.  You’ve already been through zucchini bread, zucchini casserole,  zucchini with peppers and onions, zucchini muffins, and stuffed zucchini.  What’s left to make?  zucchini fudge?  zucchini frosting for that chocolate cake?  zucchini ice cream?   Here’s a novel idea, how about zucchini soup?

IMG_7781

I’ll admit it’s weird thinking about soup when its so warm outside.  Hot soup.  I didn’t even have the decency to make cold soup.  It’s just in-your-face hot–smack dab in the middle of a July summer.  That takes some nerve!

But please forgive me because this soup is sooo good!  My family loves it and it is so easy to make. With only 5 ingredients,  it takes only about 30 minutes start to finish, and one large bowl is only 60 calories, or 1 WW point.

I often serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh grated cheese, but that’s completely up to you.  You can add fresh herbs, yellow squash, or some cauliflower, or whatever you wish.  Served with some crusty bread or a salad and it’s a complete meal, or make it as a starter to any meal.  To make it vegetarian use vegetable broth.  I usually make it with chicken broth.

IMG_7784

Make this soup and stay cool;  maybe eat it sitting in front of the refrigerator with the door open……..enjoy!

 

CREAM OF ZUCCHINI SOUPIMG_7770

Serving:  4   size, 1 1/2 cups,  calories, 60,  fat 1g,   carb 10 g,

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3-4 cloves garlic,
  • 3 medium zucchini, leave skin on, cut into large chunks
  • 32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh grated cheese (Parmesan or asiago) for topping (optional)

Directions:

1.   In a large pot, over medium heat, combine the chicken broth, zucchini, onion and garlic, and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

2.  Puree with an immersion blender, add the sour cream and puree again until smooth.

IMG_7771

3.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.  Serve hot.

IMG_7782

 

SOURCE:   Skinny Taste

 

Egg-Drop Noodle Soup

Egg-Drop Noodle Soup

Egg-Drop Noodle Soup

Oodles of noodles is what’s in this soup.  And vegetables, asian seasonings, and eggs all swirled together in a chicken broth.  A light meal to be sure, one to have on hand for when you’re not starving,  just feeling a little peckish, and need something to stimulate your taste buds.   This is what I would want if I had been sick, and was just getting my appetite back.

IMG_7282

With healthy ingredients going into it, you’re bound to feel healthy after eating it.  Rich chicken broth, green onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, noodles and eggs.  Sounds like a prescription to me, but certainly not a bitter pill to swallow.  Think of it as a dressed up chicken soup.

IMG_7281

This recipe makes a large quantity of soup, but it keeps well refrigerated.  I’m not sure about freezing it–I think the already cooked noodles might get mushy, but have not tried it.

EGG-DROP NOODLE SOUP

Yield:   Makes 8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth

    Healthy ingredients, so good for you.

    Healthy ingredients, so good for you.

  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 2 packages ramen noodle soup, flavor packets discarded
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water, or use 2 teaspoon saved chicken broth

Directions:

1.  In a large saucepan or soup kettle, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil.   Bring to a boil.

2.  Add the piece of ginger, garlic cloves, carrots, and all of the green onions, except for 2 tablespoons green parts–save these for garnish.   Return to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until carrots are tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the ginger and garlic and discard.

IMG_7276

3.  Mix together the cornstarch and water to dissolve the cornstarch.  Pour into boiling broth and stir to combine.  Add the noodles (minus the flavor packets), and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together with a little salt and pepper to taste.  While gently stirring the soup, pour in the egg mixture and stir to swirl and cook the eggs.  Remove from heat and serve with reserved green onions as garnish.

Served with a sandwich, this makes a light meal.

Served with a sandwich, this makes a light meal.

 

SOURCE:   adapted from Allrecipes.com

 

 

 

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

A cold stormy day calls for hot soup. We were hit with an unexpected snow storm the other day that threw everyone into a tizzy. What is it that is so often said about the last day of March, “out like a lamb”?  Not this one. The lion roared again and tied up traffic for miles with multiple accidents. What did I do? I stayed home and sent a barrage of e-mails to the Weather Goddess. Enough is enough, Mother Nature. Check your calendar; it’s Spring!!  😀

Mr. D was so thankful for a steaming hot bowl of soup. He said it hit the spot. This soup is healthy and light. It has a creamy texture from the cauliflower and would lead you to think it was loaded with cream, but there’s not a drop of cream in it. I served it with a drizzle of olive oil on top. It would make a light lunch or first course or serve with a sandwich for a full meal as I did.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

A serving of this soup is 1 3/4 cup, with 93 calories, 3 g. fat, 12 g carbohydrate.

CAULIFLOWER SOUP

Very few ingredients.

Very few ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
  • kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan or soup kettle, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook about 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth and cauliflower and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.) Turn off the heat.

Cook the cauliflower in the chicken broth.

Cook the cauliflower in the chicken broth.

3. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, or use a regular blender and puree in small batches. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Puree the cooked cauliflower with a blender.

Puree the cooked cauliflower with a blender.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

 

SOURCE: adapted from Skinny Taste

Fire-Roasted Manhattan Clam Chowder

Fire-Roasted Manhattan Clam Chowder

Fire-Roasted Manhattan Clam Chowder

There are two well-known kinds of clam chowder;  New England Clam Chowder, and Manhattan Clam Chowder.  As I’ve written about here, the New England style is creamy, thick and white with lots of clams and potatoes.  The Manhattan style chowder is made with a tomato broth and contains tomatoes, usually bacon, onions, clams and potatoes.  It’s a matter of taste and preference which one you like best.

In my past experiences with chowder, New England style was homemade, but Manhattan always came out of a can, and I didn’t like it.  That changed several years ago when I happened on this recipe for a homemade version, that Mr. D. and I think is fabulous.  It’s a much lighter soup, still warming on a cold day, but fewer calories to drag you down.  Try this with some savory scones or biscuits to go with it.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

IMG_0253

FIRE-ROASTED MANHATTAN CLAM CHOWDER

Yield:   Makes 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6  slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch stripsIMG_6345
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy greens, stalks and leaves finely chopped separately
  • 1 large, or 3 smallish baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • One 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • One 14,5 – ounce can chicken broth
  • Two 8-ounce cans chopped clams with their juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a large saucepan or skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat renders, about 6 minutes.  Discard the fat, and place the cooked bacon in a soup kettle.

Frying the bacon.

Frying the bacon.

2.  Add the olive oil to the saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped celery and onion and cook stirring, until softened.  Add in the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.   Add this to the soup kettle.

Saute onions, celery and garlic.

Saute onions, celery and garlic.

3.  To the contents of the soup kettle add the potato, the tomatoes and their juice and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add broth, potatoes and tomatoes.

Add broth, potatoes and tomatoes.

4.  Stir in the clams with their liquid and cook to warm through.  Stir in the chopped celery leaves and season with salt and pepper.  Taste before adding salt as the tomatoes likely have salt in them as well as the clams and chicken broth.  Most times I do not add any salt, just a little black pepper.

IMG_6349

A bowl of hot chowder is so warming on a cold day.

A bowl of hot chowder is so warming on a cold day.

SOURCE:    Cooking Light

Roast Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Roast Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Dear readers, this soup  is absolutely delicious!!  Roasting the squash creates a rich, caramelized flavor that in the finished soup is amazing.  You can go ahead and cook the squash in the chicken broth, but it won’t be the same,  I’m telling you.   You will not believe the creaminess of this soup without the use of heavy cream.  And don’t even think about skipping the Parmesan croutons…..even it you use packaged ones instead of homemade.

I realize I’ve swooned over other soups,  but, with each new soup I make, I think it’s the best and it becomes my favorite, and the one last week is like “broccoli who?”.  January will best be remembered as soup month around here, and just in case you think I’m being a little over dramatic and that I need to go to some kind of soup-overload-rehab, you’re only thinking that because you haven’t made this one yet.

Even though the soup is perfectly seasoned according to the recipe, you may want to further perk up the flavor, by adding a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of garlic powder, being careful as to the amounts because each of these items can be quite strong.

BUTTERNUT SOUP WITH PARMESAN CROUTONS

YIELD:  Makes  2 quarts or about 8 servings

Butternut squash, onion, garlic, celery and chicken broth, plus seasonings.

Butternut squash, onion, garlic, celery and chicken broth, plus seasonings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes**
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • herb mixture, such as Fine Herbs, Italian Herb mix, Herbs de Provence
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage, or 2 tsp. dry rubbed sage
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz. each) reduced sodium chicken broth (vegetarians may substitute vegetable broth)
  • Croutons:
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage or 1 tsp. dry rubbed sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cubed French bread ( 1/2-inch cubes)
  • cooking spray
  • additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional

**As a small savings in time, you may want to use precut squash cubes from the market.  I prefer to peel and cut my squash because I feel that it is fresher when purchased whole, and not as likely to be dried out.

Directions:

1.  Place squash in a 15-in. x 10-in. baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray.  Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon oil; sprinkle with pepper, and sprinkle on a small amount of herb mixture.  Toss to coat.

Dice squash, drizzle with olive oil, pepper and herbs, then bake.

Dice squash, drizzle with olive oil, pepper and herbs, then bake.

Bake, uncovered, at 425*F for 30-35 minutes or until tender, stirring every 15 minutes.  Set aside.  This will smell wonderful when it comes out of the oven and you will want to eat it, but please don’t.

Roasted squash pierces easily and has some browned edges.

Roasted squash pierces easily and has some browned edges.

2.  While squash is roasting, in a Dutch oven, saute the onion, celery and sage in remaining oil until tender.

Slowly sauté the onions, celery and garlic.

Slowly sauté the onions, celery,  garlic and sage.

Stir in the broth and squash.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Cool slightly.

Add squash and chicken broth to Dutch oven.

Add squash and chicken broth to Dutch oven.

3.  In a blender, or with an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth.  Return to the pan;  heat through. This makes a thick mixture.

Puree the mixture for a thick, wonderfully flavorful soup.

Puree the mixture for a thick, wonderfully flavorful soup.

If you prefer a thinner soup, add some additional broth, and rebalance the seasoning if necessary.

4.  For croutons, in a small bowl, combine the cheese, oil, sage and garlic.  Add bread cubes and spritz with cooking spray; toss to coat.  Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

5.  Bake at 425*F. for 5 – 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle each serving of soup with croutons and additional cheese if desired.

Top soup with Parmesan croutons and enjoy.

Top soup with Parmesan croutons and enjoy.

Nutritional Profile:  1 cup of soup with 1/4 cup croutons equals 179 calories, 8 g. fat, 1 mg cholesterol,  541 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber,  5 g protein.

SOURCE:   Adapted from Taste of Home

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The polar vortex has arrived here in the Northeast, reaching its icy fingers right down into my neck-of-the-woods. Many of you across the U.S. know what I’m talking about as you-all are having it too.  What never ceases to amaze me is how abruptly the weather can change.  Someone  ( ?who) once said ” if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait a minute.”   As an example yesterday morning when I got up it was pouring rain and the temperature was 60*F.  All the snow from a few days ago had melted.  This morning when I got up the temperature was 11*F. with a wind chill of -15*, and there was a dusting of snow back on the ground.  BRRRRR!!

This was one day I was so happy to stay indoors.  Since I had gone to the library yesterday,  I had some good reading waiting for me, plus I’m so behind on my magazines I haven’t finished reading about Thanksgiving yet!  A good day to spend under a quilt trying to stay warm, reading and getting caught up…..and thinking about what’s for supper.   Actually, it didn’t take much thought; on a day like this one, I want hot soup.

There's nothing like a warming bowl of hot soup.

There’s nothing like a warming bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day.

After rummaging around in the refrigerator I found a large bunch of broccoli that immediately made me think of cream of broccoli soup.  This didn’t exactly fit into my plans for eating “lighter” meals because of the cream content, so I searched through my cookbooks for a more suitable recipe for broccoli soup.  This is what I came up with……

BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

Yield:   Serves 4 – 6IMG_6075

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  •  2 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium   (vegetable broth may be substituted for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Boil or steam the broccoli until tender.  Drain and set aside.

2.  While broccoli cooks, melt butter in a soup kettle.  Saute shallots and garlic in the butter until tender.

3.  Sprinkle flour into the kettle and stir over low heat until blended.  Add chicken broth and continue stirring until mixture is smooth.

4.  Add the broccoli to the broth mixture.  Using an immersion blender or regular blender puree the soup mixture until uniformly blended.

An immersion blender makes quite work of pureeing the soup.

An immersion blender makes quick work of pureeing the soup.

5.  Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

  Add in the grated cheese and stir to melt.


Add in the grated cheese and stir to melt.

This soup is surprisingly thick, because of the flour added to the broth, and because of pureeing the broccoli.  Be sure you use a large head of broccoli so there is adequate to thicken the soup.  The cheese also adds some thickening, and its flavor is a nice addition.  I also added a pinch of nutmeg to my soup though it is not included with the ingredients. Though this is a lightened up version of cream of broccoli soup, it still has a rich taste and texture.   I didn’t miss the cream at all!

Note:  If broccoli is not available,  cauliflower may be used instead.

Hot soup and a go-with sandwich.

Hot soup and a go-with sandwich.

Stop back again tomorrow for directions for making the filled sandwich you see in the above picture.

SOURCE:   The Flavor of New England,  Soups, Chowders, and Stews

New Year’s Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Today’s recipe was previously published, but I pulled it up from the archives because it is so fantastic that it deserves another viewing, especially for new readers.

I frequently make this soup for New Year’s Day.  Of course, I make it at other times too, but for some reason I connect it with New Years.  As yesterday’s post said, some people eat peas, pidgin peas, black-eyed peas, lentils and  beans to celebrate the new year, and supposedly they represent prosperity and good luck.  So if eating pea soup will bring me those things, then I will gladly eat it.   Not only for that reason, but because  it’s really good.

This recipe makes a big pot of  hearty, thick pea soup with bits of ham or other smoked meat and carrots swimming in it. It will fill you and warm you up on a cold day.  As I write this a pot of this goodness is simmering away on the back burner of my stove, filling my kitchen with it’s wonderful smokey smell while outside the sun is shining but the wind is blowing as the latest snow storm moves away from us.  A great day to be inside, waiting expectantly for dinner.

IMG_2465

I developed this recipe as presented here, but it began as a basic recipe for split pea soup.  I find that adding some granular chicken bouillon to the broth enriches it, and I particularly like using Sazon Goya as an all-purpose seasoning.  This can be found in the Spanish foods section of the supermarket.  I also like the subtle flavor of garlic, so I use at least 4 cloves.  That may seem like a lot, but with the long slow simmer it gets, it is not a strong flavor, but rather an undertone.  For smokiness I like to use smoked pork neck bones if I can find them, however a nice meaty ham bone does just as well, or failing that use a piece of kielbasa.

Smoked pork neck bones.

Smoked pork neck bones.

As you can see this soup is very versatile,  you can’t do anything to ruin it, so play with the ingredients and make it your own.  But do try it!

SPLIT PEA SOUP

YIELD:    6 – 8 servings

  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 1 Tablespoon granular chicken bouillon
  •  3/4 pound smoked ham or 1 ham hock
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 clove garlic
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 2 packets, Sazon Goya seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Split green peas, bay leaves. and Sazon Goya

    Split green peas, bay leaves. and Sazon Goya

  • 8 – 10 cups water

1.  In a large soup pot  ( 6 -8 quart), measure in the water.  I start with 8 cups, and add liquid as necessary because pea soup tends to absorb liquid and become quite thick.  Rinse the peas and add to the pot of water.  Over medium-high heat start the soup cooking.

2.  Add in all the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the carrot, and bring to a boil.

.On its way to becoming a delicious and hearty bowl of soup.

.On its way to becoming a delicious and hearty bowl of soup.

3.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for about 2 hours.  Peas should be totally cooked and dissolved into the broth.

4.  Remove the ham bone, or bones, and bay leaf.  Let cool slightly, then remove any meat from bones and set aside.

5.  Using an immersion blender or standard blender, puree the soup.  Return to soup pot, return meat to soup.

6.  Peel and dice the carrot, add to the soup and cook on low until carrot is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Alternately you may cook the carrot in the soup from the beginning, but then it gets pureed along with everything else.  I like to see the bits of carrot in the soup with the ham.

7.  Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as necessary.  It’s best to wait till the end, because the bouillon and the ham will add saltiness.

To serve you might want to float a few well seasoned croutons on top of each bowl, and serve with a great loaf of bread.

IMG_2462

 

SOURCE:   A CAROLYN ORIGINAL