Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cream Broccoli Soup and Chive and Cheddar Toast

Doesn't that look yummy!!!
I would love to say that I came up with this meal but it is from Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats Cookbook. One thing I love about Rachel Ray’s recipes is that they are easy to make substitutions and also easy to make. One thing I have noticed is that I cannot make a Rachael Ray meal in 30 minutes. Maybe if made this recipe many times I could get quicker at it but this time it took between 45 minute to an hour.

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices of bacon, chopped (We hardly ever cook with bacon so I used more!)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbls fresh thyme (I did not have any fresh time so I used rubbed thyme)
salt and pepper
Hot Sauce (I did not put this in.)
2 10 ounce boxes of frozen chopped broccoli (I used fresh broccoli - about 3 to 4 cups)
1 quart of chicken stock (I forgot about this until the last minute so I used water and about 1 cup of chicken stock
½ cup of heavy cream or half and half (I never use heavy cream due to calories and fat so I used 1/4 cup of whole milk and 1/4 cup of whole milk)
8 slices of baguette (I used whole wheat sandwich bread)
1/4 cup cup parsley
Zest and juice of one lemon (I used the juice only - I was lazy)
1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar
3 tbls chopped fresh chives

Heat a large soup pan over medium heat and add the EVOO. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the crispy bacon and let it drain on a paper towel. (I added bacon to the soup as well as the bread.) Add the onions, garlic and thyme to the pot and season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are tender. Add the broccoli and heat thoroughly. Transfer the onions and broccoli to the food processor with ½ cup of chicken stock and puree until smooth. (I wanted a hearty soup with chucks so after everything was cooked I took a hand mixer and pureed it lightly.) Add the pureed mixture back to the pan and then add the remaining chicken stock and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. While the soap is simmering, toast the bread slices until brown, sprinkle the cheese, bacon and parsley over each slice and return to the boiler or toaster oven until the cheese is melted. To finish the soap add the lemon zest and juice and stir to combine.

Dish up and Serve. I have no idea what the calorie content is on this but if you used extra lean turkey bacon and substituted skim milk for the heavy cream this would be a very healthy recipe.

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