You know that feeling you get when your really skinny friend, the one who has to have her size zero jeans taken in, takes a slurp of her grande caramel macchiato and then sighs, "Oh God, I shouldn't be drinking this, I'm SO FAT!"? That feeling? Well, I apologize in advance, because I'm about to do the same thing to you, but about weather.
It's kinda chilly here in Central Texas. Like, it's almost April and we have the heat on, and we got a freeze warning the other night, the dogs are crowding me off the bed, and I have to wear socks in the house. Waah, waah, waaah.
The good news is, because it is kind of chilly and I needed to use up this big head of broccoli in my fridge, I made broccoli cheese soup, and I'm going to share my recipe with you.Most of the recipes I found online were chock full of butter and cream, which, along with all the cheese, kind of cancels out any nutritional value you might get from the broccoli. So I decided to try a lighter version.
Broccoli Cheese Soup's Cousin Who Doesn't Really Diet but Works Out From Time to Time
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups veggie stock
1/2 pound fresh broccoli, chopped finely (I did mine in a food processor)
1 cup carrots, chopped (food processor! Seriously, who has time to julienne anything?)
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces lowfat part-skim mozzarella or reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Saute the onion in the tbsp of olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the rest of the olive oil and the flour; stir until well combined. Add the almond milk, whisking constantly for 3-5 minutes. Add the veggie stock and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add broccoli, carrots, and garlic. Cook over low heat for another 20 minutes.
Taste and season as necessary. Remove all but about a cup of the soup and puree for a few minutes in a high-powered blender, to get a creamy consistency.
Return to the pot. Add nutmeg and cheese and stir.
IT'S READY. Enjoy it with a fresh green salad and a big hunk of homemade bread, if you've got it.
This is about 344 calories a serving; less than half of other recipes I've seen. Chow down in good conscience, my friends.
Now, just to balance out all that healthiness, here's a bonus recipe for some equally yummy but in no way healthy cookies. This is one of my favorite spring flavor combinations, and makes for a surprisingly delightful cookie!
LEMON ROSEMARY COOKIES
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp rosemary, VERY finely chopped
Beat butter and eggs until fluffy and lemon-colored. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined; add the lemon juice and rosemary and do same.
Roll into balls and squoosh'em flat with your hand; or if you're picky and like your cookies to look nice,you can roll them and cut them out. You could even get SUPER fancy and sprinkle some colored decorating sugar on top. You know, if you're feeling all Martha Stewart-y.
Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes and let cool on a rack for a few minutes before nomming. Your kitchen will smell like heaven and so will the cookie jar.