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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Skinny Broccoli-Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

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After totally gorging ourselves on Easter chocolate and sweets this past weekend, I thought a nice light and healthy dinner was in order. Since I had some leftover steamed broccoli and cauliflower, from last week, I decided to turn them into a beautiful velvety soup, minus all the fat and calories. Now I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I have been lucky to have 2 children who love to eat their veggies. Never in my life, did I think that my kids would be sitting at the dinner table, gobbling up broccoli soup and asking for seconds. I envisioned my life as a never ending battle, peppered with "eat your veggies", at every meal. Thankfully, this was not the case with this soup.

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Though this soup looks luxurious and creamy, there isn't a drop of cream in it. That's what makes it skinny. The whole thing is made with flavourful homemade chicken stock. That's the trick. If you have an amazing stock, that is full of flavour, you really don't need much else to make this soup shine. Now if you aren't the type of person who makes their own stock, I suggest using the best quality, low sodium stock in a box you can find. The sharp cheddar, Parmesan and a hint of nutmeg make this soup more exciting that just a pot of pureed veggies. I served the soup with croutons I made using some stale Stuffed Potato and Cheese break sticks, from the bakery section at our local grocery store. Even Hubby loved it, which doesn't happen often, if it's not drowning in cheese, or cream, LOL.

Skinny Broccoli-Cauliflower and Cheese Soup
printable version

3 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, minced
3 C broccoli, chopped (I used a combination of steamed and fresh)
2 C cauliflower, chopped (again, I used steamed and fresh)
6-7 C low sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp season salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 C extra sharp light Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 C Parmesan cheese

In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add in onion and cook for 1 minute. Add in any fresh broccoli and cauliflower, coat with oil and cook until cauliflower starts to lightly brown; about 5 minutes. Season with season salt, pepper and nutmeg, and add in the chicken stock; just til vegetables are about covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are fork tender; about 15 minutes. Once veggies are tender, if you have any steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower, add it in. Cook for another 10 minutes, until vegetables are very tender. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup (you can have it as chunky or smooth as you'd like. We preferred a few chunks, so I did not puree all the way). Stir in 1 C extra sharp Cheddar and Parmesan cheese, stirring until melted and well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Garnish soup bowls with homemade croutons (recipe follows) and extra shredded Cheddar.

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Homemade Croutons

3 Stuffed Potato and Cheese bread sticks (you can also use regular, or cheese bread sticks)
1/4 C garlic infused olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Cut bread sticks in half, lengthwise, then cute into half inch cubes; place cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with garlic olive (if you don't have any garlic olive oil, sprinkle bread cubes with 1/4 tsp garlic powder, before tossing) and toss to coat. Spread cubes out evenly and bake for 45 minutes- 1 hr, tossing the cubes around every 15 minutes; until cubes are hard and crispy.

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This post linked to

See Ya in the Gumbo
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesday
Delicious Dishes
Fit and Fabulous Friday 
Bake with Bizzy 
Gallery of Favorites

6 comments:

Lyndsay Wells said...

I was super excited to see this one and you didn't disappoint. I'm making this for dinner tonight.

Little Mommy Kim said...

Looks yummy! Love this!

Lee-Ann said...

Looks really good!

Michelle said...

Great lightened up soup, Cindy. I feel the same way about all the Easter candy. Love the way you used the leftover bread for croutons. Thanks for linking up. Sorry for the late visit. It's been a trying week here.

Alea Milham said...

This looks delicious! I love the addition of nutmeg - it is one of my favorite spices and I love discovering it hidden in unexpected places.

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

I really like the sound of this wonderful healthy soup, and I like the combo of the cheddar and parmesan cheeses as well. Great croutons too! I often use nutmeg in soups as well - I think it adds the most wonderful flavour!