Saturday, February 20, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It's got cheese. What's not to love about soup with cheese?

A word of caution: boiling cheese is a bad idea. Remove soup from heat, add it at the end, and stir like crazy. When reheating, use low heat and avoid boiling.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
4 servings

  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, stems included
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water with bouillon powder)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, low fat
Cut up the broccoli and carrot. Cover with chicken stock and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer until carrot is tender - about 10 minutes. Broccoli will be overcooked at this point, but that's okay.

Puree veggies using an immersion blender or in batches in a normal blender. Return to pot over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, and paprika.

Put flour in a liquid measuring cup. Add milk to make 1 cup. Mix well with a fork to remove lumps. It often works better to add the milk a bit at a time, mixing as you go. Add floury milk to soup, stirring well. Bring to boil - stir frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Soup should get very thick and creamy.

Remove put from heat. Add cheese, stirring very well. Serve with crackers or bread, and add pepper to taste.

Per serving (using 1% milk and low fat cheese): Calories 134, Fat 3.0 g (2 g sat), Carb 15.8 g, Protein 11.6 g, Fibre 2.2 g, Sodium 814 mg.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Menu

Just in case you're seeking inspiration, for Valentine's Day we will be dining on:

Appetizer: Cheddar Beer Fondue with bread, mushrooms, apples, broccoli, red pepper, and baby corn for dipping.

Main Course: Bacon-wrapped sirloin steak from Costco, with baked potatoes on the side. Alternately, last year I made Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast. Bacon-wrapped = special.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

Wine: We have one bottle left from our trip to BC last year, so we'll be drinking it. I think it's a blush. Don't judge me! I'll probably pick up a bottle of port tonight to go with dessert.

My plan is to make the mousse on Saturday. That should make prep pretty easy on Sunday - just slicing up fondue stuff, making the fondue, baking the potatoes (or microwaving them), and letting the steak-man cook the steaks as he sees fit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is fantastic. Probably because it has a brick of cream cheese in it. I used "light", though, so clearly it's okay. It's creamy and rich and just a wonderful meal for a February evening. Rumour has it this also makes an excellent pasta sauce.

Adapted from Allrecipes. How could 1,000 people steer me wrong?

Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons oil

3 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning (or marjoram or oregano)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash liquid smoke
1 8 oz brick light cream cheese*

1. Wash the outside of the squash well. Microwave whole for 3 minutes on high to soften. Slice in half and scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Place in a microwavable dish and microwave until soft, 10-15 minutes on high. Let cool for a few minutes.

2. Chop onion. Peel garlic. Put in a large saucepan with the oil. Cook over medium until onion is cooked through and just a little brown. Add the water and bouillon (or, of course, sub real chicken broth). Scoop squash flesh into soup using a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Add seasonings. Simmer 5 minutes to blend the flavours and make sure all parts of the squash are evenly cooked.

3. Add cream cheese. Remove from heat. Blend with immersion blender, or in batches in a normal blender (carefully!). Adjust seasoning to taste.

*If a brick of cream cheese isn't your style, you can add anything you like for a creamy dairy product: 1 cup half and half, 1 cup milk, 1 cup plain yogurt, or 1 cup evaporated skim milk.

Assuming 8 servings: Calories 181, Fat 10.8 g (3.7 saturated), Protein 5.1 g, Carbs 16.3 g (2.9 g fibre), Sodium 95.6 mg

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

The recipe makes enough to feed an army - I'd guess 15 servings, so either make it for a crowd or plan to freeze a bunch. Apologies for the lack of photo - I didn't intent to blog this, but I've been recommending the recipes often so this will give it a home.


Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cup carrot, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I minced in a food processor)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (3 1/2 lb) roasting chicken (frozen utility grade is usually the best value - if prepping the night before, just put frozen into pot)
  • 1-2 cups frozen veggies (corn, peas, etc)
  • 3 cups noodles, uncooked (egg, bowtie, or whatever you like)


1. In 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl, combine water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, poultry seasoning, 4 t salt, 1/2 t pepper.
2. Place whole chicken on top of vegetables.
3. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook as manufacturer directs on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high 4-5 hours.
4. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Add noodles and frozen veggies to slow-cooker; cover with lid and cook (on low or high) 20 minutes.
5. While noodles cook, remove and discard skin, fat and bones from chicken; shred meat.
6. Skim fat from soup and discard. Return half of chicken to soup to serve. (Reserve the rest of the chicken meat for another use.)

Estimated nutrional content per 1 cup serving (14 servings in above recipe, half the chicken meat added back):
Calories: 112
Fat: 1.4 g (0.3 saturated)
Sodium: 711 mg
Carbs: 16 g (2 g fibre)
Protein: 9.3 g