Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Skinny Broccoli Soup with Sourdough Croutons

This winter has been the longest, snowiest and coldest winter we've had in a LONG time! I walk around my house with layers of clothes and still freezing.  I am really looking forward to spring and wearing less clothes! In the mean time, I've been making lots of soup to keep me warm.

My middle daughter started asking me to make broccoli soup a few weeks ago. It kind of caught me off guard because I don't remember her ever actually eating or wanting broccoli soup.  I don't know where she got the idea that she liked it.  Buuuuut I was gonna take FULL advantage of that.  You know when kids even think they might like something, it's so much easier to get them to eat it! 

I actually made two attempts at broccoli soup.  The first one, a pretty simple and classic recipe, bombed!  My kids wouldn't touch it.  So I decided to tempt fate and try again.  Inspired by this Zucchini Spinach and Basil Soup, I tried again and scored!!  They were brave enough to try it again and liked it. And as a bonus, this one is much much healthier.

Skinny Broccoli with Sourdough Croutons
olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups zucchini, choped
3 cups broccoli, chopped
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1-2 cups cashew milk (in the carton)
salt and pepper, to taste
 parmesan or cheddar cheese for topping, optional

for the croutons:
1 sourdough loaf or boule

In a large pot heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute about 7-8 minutes, until soft and translucent.  Add garlic for another 60 seconds then add zucchini broccoli and saute another couple of minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 8-10 minutes; until veggies are very tender.  Remove from heat and add spinach.  Stir to wilt.  Use an immersion blender to puree soup, or working in batches, puree in blender.  Add milk and more broth, if desired.  Add salt and pepper, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.   Top with cheese, if desired, and sourdough croutons.

To make croutons, cut about half of the sourdough loaf or boule into 1-inch cubes.  Melt 1-2 Tbsp. butter in a large frying pan, add croutons and toss to coat.  Season with a few dashes of salt and cracks of black pepper.  Saute on medium high heat until they start to turn a light golden brown.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lemon Cream

So, I was shopping at Costco the other day and this bag of Meyer lemons caught my eye.  I've never tried them before although I've been hearing about them for years.  Since they were pretty cheap I grabbed a bag and figured I decide later what to do with them.  I got a lot of great suggestions from friends, some of which I'll be trying soon,  but I also searched the interwebs high and low for something to make that was worthy of my time. Let me tell you friends this lemon cream is it!

WOWWY!!  No I know that not every loves lemon perhaps as much as I do, but wow, this is just the best.  It's not too sweet and has a lovely lemon flavor and luscious creamy texture.  You'll seriously want to put it on everything.  Try it on pancakes, waffles, crepes, on fruit, over ice cream, the sky is the limit!  It only takes about 10 minutes to whip up, so definitely worthy of my time.

Lemon Cream
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used Meyer lemons)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a heat proof mixing bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest.  Make a double boiler by setting the bowl on top of a medium saucepan with a few inches of water in the bottom.  Heat over medium high heat.  Cook mixture, whisking often, until it starts to thicken and become pudding-like; about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted.  Set in an ice bath until cooled then stir in the heavy cream.

Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

SOURCE: The Grant Life
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