Thursday, March 24, 2011

Low-Fat Cream of Broccoli Soup

Goodness! The weather is atrocious! A rain storm has been playing the role of the uninvited guest in Northern California and will continue to do so for a few more days. It's been awful driving on the streets and worse on the freeways. Running errands around town became much more difficult; I trekked around town getting wet and feeling very cold. As soon as I returned home, I changed out of my wet jeans and gleefully jumped into cozy sweats.

It's no surprise that when the weather is unpleasantly cold and stormy, I get a big hankering for big warm bowls of comforting soup and alongside wholesome and crusty bread. I should have expected that I'd cook up a large pot for dinner--with plenty for leftovers!

This super flavorful creamy broccoli soup not only satisfied my cold-weather cravings, but it made me think twice about how little fat was in it. The body of the soup was quite rich and very creamy. Unlike most creamy soups, however, I didn't use any heavy cream or a great deal of butter. Instead, the addition of a few Yukon Gold potatoes and fat-free milk did the trick.

Another healthy and yummy success in my book! :)

Low-Fat Cream of Broccoli Soup

makes about 6 cups

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped

1 cup white onion, coarsely chopped

3 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced

7 cups trimmed broccoli florets, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

3/4 cup fat-free milk

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and onions, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook  for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until they are slightly tender. Add the potatoes, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often to avoid browning (reduce the heat if necessary). Add the broccoli, lightly season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook the mixture for 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix it in with the vegetables. Continue to cook for an extra 2 minutes.

2. Add the vegetable broth into the pot, increase the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to a medium simmer, and allow the soup to cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli is very tender. Turn off the heat and carefully pour the soup into a food processor and process until smooth (do this in batches if you need to). Pour the soup back into the pot and turn the heat back on medium. Stir in the milk, parmesan cheese, and about 3/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper (you can always change the amount of salt and pepper to taste). Allow the soup to lightly simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Serve and garnish with bread and/or extra parmesan or cheese of choice, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice healthy alternative. I'll definitely give this a try the next time it rains!