Thursday, January 5, 2012

Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup....Lightened Up!

Good morning! Or almost afternoon, rather.  I trust you are all still sticking to your New Year’s resolutions;)  I would hope you are, after all…..it is only the 5th of January.  I am still trying to eat “healthier”.  It hasn’t been fun, I might add.  But I’m doing it.  Yesterday I made a delicious Creamy Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup.  I lightened it up, so it doesn’t have a billion grams of fat like your typical cream of broccoli soup.  I will show you how I did it.

I love soup.  I really do.  But only certain kinds.  Usually it is the kind that is super bad for you.  Yep, creamy soups….I’m lookin’ at you.  I have never been a fan of broth based soups, but I could eat my body weight in creamy soups, such as clam chowder, potato soup, and cream of anything.  I especially love soup when it is cold out.  Since it’s cold a lot here in Northern Nevada, I had to figure out a way to lighten up said creamy soups, so I don’t look like a whale.

For this soup, I used a whole head of cauliflower.  My broccoli came already cut up for me, and I used an equal amount to the cauliflower.  I also used one potato, a shallot, garlic, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, poultry seasoning and light cream cheese.

The light cream cheese is what will make the soup nice and creamy.  The potato will keep it thick.  You will never miss the heavy cream;)  At least not that much.

I started by roasting the broccoli and cauliflower.  This will caramelize the veggies and give them a great flavor.  They will become sweet and yummy.  I roasted them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Before I threw them in the oven, I sprayed them with cooking spray and sprinkled salt and pepper over the top.  When they veggies come out they will be nicely browned and charred…..like so:

See those yummy brown spots?  If you think you don’t like broccoli or cauliflower, try them roasted.  They taste completely different then steamed veggies.  I promise.

Before I could get the soup pot going, I also had to dice my shallot and peel and dice my potato.  I used one shallot, but two would be good too. 

Don’t worry too much about the size of anything….this soup gets blended at the end.

To get the soup started, I added 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of my soup pot.  Yes, you need a bit of fat in your diet.  It will give you a shiny coat.

I also added the shallot, garlic and poultry seasoning.  Poultry seasoning doesn’t have to just be used on poultry.  Don’t let the name throw you off.  It is chock full of great herbs, like sage, marjoram, thyme and sometimes, celery salt. It is a great blend that is fantastic added to pretty much any savory dish.

I let the shallot cook, just until softened…about 4 minutes over medium heat. 

Once the shallot was softened, I added the potato.

Then, I added the broth and Worcestershire sauce.  I brought this to a boil, and then I put a lid on it.  I want to cook the potato, but I didn’t want any of the broth to evaporate, so it needs its lid.  I let this cook for about 16 minutes, or until the potato breaks up when you poke it with a fork.

I also added the broccoli and cauliflower back into the pan at this point.  Now it is ready to be blended!

I used my immersion blended.  Some of you might remember that I was devastated by the loss of my old immersion blender a few months back;)  My BFF got me one for Christmas!  I think she might have just been trying to prove that she reads this blog, but whatever the reason….I love it!

If you don’t have an immersion blender, make friends with my BFF Jennifer.  Maybe she will buy you one.  Otherwise, use a blender or food processor.

Once the soup was all blended, I added the cream cheese and stirred until the cheese was melted.  At this point, you will need to taste it to see where you are at with seasoning.  Mine needed more salt.

I served my soup with fat free croutons and sharp cheddar cheese.  I prefer sharp cheddar because you can use way less of it because it is “sharp”….hence the name.  The best part about this soup is that you can eat a ton of it, and not feel badly.  It is crazy low in fat and calories!

The potato keeps this soup nice and thick, and the cream cheese gives it creaminess and tang.  This soup turned out really, really good.  I am pretty sure you will love it too!  For those of you in California….if you ever get a real winter, you will thank me.  This soup warms you up!

See you next week!

Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

12 ounces fresh broccoli

12 ounces fresh cauliflower

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large shallot, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 potato, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 cups chicken stock

4 ounces light cream cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place broccoli and cauliflower on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray veggies with more cooking spray, and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper over the top.  Roast at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until veggies are slightly charred around the edges.  Set aside.

In a large soup pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Over medium heat, sauté shallot, garlic and poultry seasoning until shallot is softened.  This will take about 4 minutes.  Add peeled and diced potato, stock and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil, and cover.  Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until potato is soft, about 16 minutes.

Add veggies to soup pot and puree with an immersion blender.  Add cream cheese and heat soup until cheese is melted.  Check for seasoning and add remaining salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve with fat free croutons and sharp cheddar cheese.

Serves 6

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