(54) Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Crisps

I purchased the bags of broccoli florets to use in this, so I only had to chop the onion and celery. That made this relatively speedy to make. I used an extra 1/2 cup of water – use your judgment, it might need a little bit more than the recipe calls for. For not having any cream or even any broth in it, this soup was amazingly creamy!! We all enjoyed it. I couldn’t really enjoy the cheese crisps because of my teeth, but my husband and daughter devoured them with the soup!! I will make this again, for sure!


Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Crisps

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Food and Wine Magazine, February 2008

For an ingenious twist on the classic combination of broccoli and melted cheddar, Barbara Lynch serves a warming broccoli soup with cheddar crisps. Try making the crisps with Mimolette, an orange-hued semihard cheese from France, which has a milder, nuttier flavor than cheddar. The soup is equally good with cauliflower or celery root in place of the broccoli.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large white onion, chopped
3 small celery ribs, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
3 1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cheddar Crisps, for serving

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.

2. Add the broccoli and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and puree until smooth. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve with the Cheddar Crisps.


Make Ahead
The broccoli soup can be refrigerated overnight.

Nutritional Information (per sparkrecipes.com)- this includes 2 crisps
Calories 149, Total Fat 9.8 g, Cholesterol 7.4 mg, Sodium 120.9 mg, Potassium 678.0 mg, Total Carbohydrate 12.0 g, Dietary Fiber 6.0 g, Protein 7.3 g

Without the crisps
Calories 120, Fat 7.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 76.8mg, Potassium 671mg, Carbohydrates 11.9g, Fiber 6g, Protein 5.6g

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(38) Pasta e Fagioli

I know I say that a lot of the recipes I cook are quick and easy, but this one should be put at the top of the list! There was nothing difficult about this. I minced my own garlic, which took 2 seconds as did opening the cans. Soooo, easy!!

I used regular spicy Italian sausage (not turkey – the plain was on sale!) and used 2 links. It was plenty spicy – certainly didn’t need any extra red pepper! If you don’t like spice, go for the sweet Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes until the heat is right for you! I wasn’t sure if this was going to be filling enough, but it definitely was! We give this two thumbs up for sure!


Pasta e Fagioli

Source: Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2000
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
1 1/2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup uncooked small seashell pasta (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
Minced fresh parsley (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until browned, stir-ring to crumble. Add water, broth, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, 1/4 cup cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until pasta is done. Let stand 5 minutes; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Garnish each serving with parsley and red pepper, if desired.

CALORIES 353 (26% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 3.1g,mono 4.1g,poly 2.3g); IRON 4.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 34mg; CALCIUM 177mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.6g; SODIUM 742mg; PROTEIN 20.5g; FIBER 4.5g

(32) Broccoli and Cheese Soup

I was looking for something quick and warm tonight for dinner. I was expecting the soup to be a bit thicker and after reading some of the reviews on CL’s website, I apparently was not the only one. Many readers suggested using only 2c of milk and also maybe using 5 oz of Velveeta and 3oz of shredded sharp cheddar for a stronger cheese flavor.

This soup was incredibly mild and flavorful, just as written. The broccoli (I used fresh) was very tender and hit the spot for me. So don’t be afraid to make it just as written, if you don’t like experimenting! It’s not a super filling bowl of soup, but with a sandwich or a baked potato, it would be a perfect light supper! The baby liked it and so did I. I will make this again for sure.

PS: I don’t think the blender step is a must, so if you don’t have one or are lazy, you can skip it without stressing out 🙂


Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Add voluptuous texture to a low-calorie soup by using processed cheese, which melts beautifully. Mix a small portion of the soup in the blender to add body.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, January 2002
Yield: 6 servings (1 1/3 cup each)

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

CALORIES 203 (28% from fat); FAT 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 24mg; CALCIUM 385mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.7g; SODIUM 897mg; PROTEIN 15.6g; FIBER 2.9g

(29) Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

This was our Superbowl meal – ready to cheer on the Saints to victory!! It was pretty easy to put together, very filling and very tasty. It wasn’t spicy enough for my liking, so I added more Tabasco. I will make this again for sure!



Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups gumbo and 1/2 cup rice)
Source: Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion (1 large)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper (1 large)
1 cup finely chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces light smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces (such as Healthy Choice brand)
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans no-salt-added organic diced tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
3 cups hot cooked rice

Place flour in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; cook 20 minutes or until light brown, stirring constantly with a whisk. (If flour browns too fast, remove pan from heat; stir constantly until it cools down.) Remove flour from pan, and set aside.

Add oil to pan. Stir in onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove onion mixture from pan; set aside.

Increase heat to medium-high; add chicken and sausage to pan. Cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done; return onion mixture to pan. Remove pan from heat. Sprinkle reserved flour over chicken mixture; stir well. Return pan to medium heat. Drain 1 can tomatoes; stir in 1 can drained tomatoes and 1 can undrained tomatoes. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, Worcestershire, and bay leaves; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Stir in salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Serve over rice.

CALORIES 419 (20% from fat); FAT 9.2g (sat 2.1g,mono 4.2g,poly 1.1g); IRON 3.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 42mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.2g; SODIUM 888mg; PROTEIN 35.8g; FIBER 3.3g

(20) Ultimate Beef Chili

This was a very filling, hearty chili. I love beans and lots of veggie in my chili, so this was a hit!! I left a little of the ribs/seeds in 1 of the jalapenos which didn’t do a thing for the heat. I needed more heat, so I added some cayenne pepper. I also added salt and 2 soup cans worth of water after I added the beans. Oh, and you know that I did not use the bay leaves!!



Ultimate Beef Chili

Source: Eating Well Magazine January/February 1999
Yield: 12 servings, 1 cup each

Offer garnishes, such as reduced-fat sour cream and grated Cheddar cheese (about 1 tablespoon each per person), chopped scallions and chopped fresh tomatoes. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and a green salad topped with orange slices.

Active Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 3 1/4 hours

1 pound beef round, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
12 ounces dark or light beer
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 sun-dried tomatoes, (not packed in oil), snipped into small pieces
2 bay leaves
3 19-ounce cans dark kidney beans, rinsed (I used 4 15-ounce cans)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with another 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.

3. Add beer and simmer, scraping up any browned bits, for about 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, bay leaves and reserved beef. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

4. Add beans; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chili has thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Nutrition
Per serving : 235 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 24 mg Cholesterol; 31 g Carbohydrates; 17 g Protein; 11 g Fiber; 496 mg Sodium; 582 mg Potassium

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
For a hot, smoky chili, add 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.

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