Ok, with that streak of six straight cookie/bar recipes interrupted only by a cocktail recipe still weighing on my conscience, I figured maybe it was about time for something, I don’t know, with a little less butter and sugar. First up was the wild mushroom, zucchini and goat cheese frittata, and now, broccoli cheddar soup. Broccoli cheddar soup, you ask? How can that be healthy? Well, rest assured, it’s not by using 75% reduced fat cheese, because I would never allow such a thing in my kitchen. Nope, this recipe uses good ol’ fashioned delicious and very real cheese. It just uses a litte less than some recipes and uses low fat milk instead of heavy cream.
I adore broccoli cheddar soup, but I never make it or order it out because it just seems so decadent and I’d kind of rather save room for some chocolate cake. So I’m thrilled to have found a recipe that tastes good and doesn’t make me have to stay at the gym an extra hour to work off the calories. The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger, dietician and Food Network star, and creator of many other recipes that I love (such as mac ‘n squash, penne with roasted tomatoes, garlic, and white beans, and Chinese chicken salad). While her show isn’t my favorite (I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but she doesn’t have the best TV personality), I love her recipes. They’re healthy, tasty, and don’t rely on weird diet food products.
Normally if I want to give visitors a taste of New England, I like to take them to Atlantic Fish Company for some clam chowder, but my sister has never been a fan. She generally doesn’t like dairy products in her soups and sauces, which is her loss. But when I found out that she actually really likes corn chowder, I knew I had to make it for her. I’ve been wanting to make this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated since my July/August edition arrived and the corn at the farmer’s market looked amazing, so this was all perfect timing.
This corn chowder recipe has less dairy than many recipes, which allows the corn flavor to shine through better, while the bacon adds a salty, sweet smokiness. The red potatoes give the soup a little more substance and then part of the chowder is pureed, so you still get a nice creamy bowl of chowder even without heavy cream. The fresh thyme and basil round out the chowder into one tasty bowl of late summery goodness. Continue reading
The next recipe in the lineup from our week-long celebration of Rick Bayless is a wonderful, creamy corn soup. In the recipe, Bayless says that you can use either chicken or ham and ham just seemed like an obvious choice to me. Of course chicken would work wonderfully, but I really liked the idea of some yummy, well-seasoned ham with the mellower corn flavor.
My favorite part of this soup, however, is not the ham, it’s the poblano chile. It gives the soup a lovely mild spice that hits at the back of your tongue. You roast the chile first, giving it a smoky kick. Spice-phobes need not be afraid – it has a very mild kick.
Ok, I promised you something healthy after all those cookies and here it is. Believe me, it’s worth the wait. I found out about this recipe from my friend, Anne, who is an incredible cook. After every amazing meal that she cooks everyone oohs and aahs over her creations and she always, always responds by saying, “Oh, it’s so easy.” This is generally met with wide eyes because it’s often clear that it’s certainly not easy by most people’s standards. This soup is an exception. It is in fact very easy and it’s very delicious and it has quickly become one of our go-to recipes for when we don’t know what else to make. It’s easy, it’s healthy, the ingredients keep well for a while, and you can even make it ahead of time, which is just what we did the other night when my sister was coming into town.
It’s a good thing we did, because her flight got in an hour late and we were getting pretty hungry by the time we got home from picking her up. But luckily we had made this soup the night before and Joseph had set the bread maker earlier in the day. We came home to a house filled with the scent of fresh baked bread and all we had to do was throw the soup in a pot to heat up, slice the warm bread, and pour a nice Albariño. It is the perfect remedy to a cold Boston night! Continue reading