Friday, June 24, 2011

I apparently have no idea what season it is.

How did summer just HIT? Holy crap, it's beautiful, then the next day it's warm, then the next day it's so hot all I want to do is stand in my sprinklers (Um, I actually did that today. And it was all I had hoped it would be). It was over 100 again today, which means I am hot. and sweaty. and miserable. It's like, salad and popsicle weather-something light and cold and easy to make. So what did my brain become utterly fixated on for dinner? Soup, of course. And I'm not talking, like, broth. I'm talking full on, hearty, cheesy broccoli ridiculousness.

At least it was easy to make, which was especially nice since I'd never attempted broccoli soup before. And it's low fat, compared to what it could have been. Plus, I got to use my red Kampot pepper for the first time. Look how gorgeous this stuff is!! I'm sure white pepper would have been a better fit, since it's spicier, but this stuff is damn purdy, and that counts for something in my world.

So here you go. Pump up the a/c and then get cooking. Or save it til you actually need to be warmed the meantime, I'm off to take another cold shower.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

cooking spray
one medium onion, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 baby carrots, thinly sliced
medium sized broccoli head, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces (including the stalk part)
3.5 cups broth (I used beef, but only because I was out of chicken)
2.5 cups 1% milk
a little less than 1/2 cup flour
8oz shredded 2% cheddar
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
couple dashes Tabasco
salt to taste (only if needed)

Heat stockpot over medium high, coat with cooking spray. Saute onions and garlic until soft. Add broth and broccoli and carrots, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Pour milk in medium bowl, and whisk in the flour. Add slowly to broth mixture, and continue stirring for about 5 minutes. The soup should thicken just a bit. If you've got an immersion blender, stick it in for a minute, but not enough to blend it completely smooth-you want some broccoli chunks in there still. (Or maybe you don't, in which case, blend away.) Otherwise, you can blend it in batches in a blender, or leave it chunky, either way.

Over very low heat, stir in cheese and pepper until all is melted. Serve hot.

About 1460 total calories per recipe. (If 4 servings, 365 cals each, if 6 servings, 244 cals each)

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