Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lightened up Broccoli Cheese Soup

First--some exciting news! (I will probably delete this picture in a few days but enjoy for now!) My ProStart students won 3rd place in the State ProStart Competition!! (that link will take you to the ProStart website if you don't know what it is) It was so exciting since we have never come close to third place before! The kids got a trophy, medals, and scholarship offers to Johnson & Wales, The Art Institute, and New England Culinary School. How cool is that?!? They were pretty pumped after and so was I:) Thanks again to my wonderful family that all came to support us! Now you definitely need to go try some of those recipes I posted--they were the recipes that got them third in the state!!

Back to the soup:
Although this is a terrible picture of a bowl of green stuff, it is really one of my most favorite soups I've made all season! (and I've made a LOT of soups this year) You will have a hard time believing there are so many vegetables and no cream in this recipe. If you like the chunks in your current favorite broccoli cheese soup, just steam some florets separately and add those in at the end. I wanted to lick the bowl because it was so excellent.
I used far less cheese than the recipe called for because I wanted to try it before all of the cheese. After trying it, I really liked it as it was and ended up only adding a bit. I showed the changed below and in parentheses you will see the original amounts. The version with less cheese only clocks in at 100 calories per serving. You might find me eating this for a snack, too!!
Broccoli Cheese Soup

adapted from Cook's Illustrated; found on Prevention RD

Yield: 7 1/2 cups (6 servings; 1 1/4 cups per serving)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs broccoli florets
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper (I used about 1/4 tsp...)
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2-3 cup water
1/4 tsp bakign soda
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups baby spinach
shredded sharp cheddar cheese for garnish (original calls for 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese to blend in when pureeing)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (original calls for 3/4 cup to blend in when pureeing)

Melt butter in pot over medium high heat. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt to pot and cook until broccoli and onion are slightly softened (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Add 1 cup of water and baking soda. Cover pot and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broth and 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Add in spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Puree soup and Parmesan cheese in a blender. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer, thinning out with water if needed (didn't need to do this). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Info (with the cheese as I wrote it, not the original recipe)
Calories: 100; Fat: 6.2 g; Protein: 5.7 g; Carbs: 7.7 g

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