Thursday, March 11, 2010

Green Shamrock Soup

Green shamrock soup is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

On a day when we celebrate everything green, why not make dinner green too? Broccoli and potatoes make a bright, perfectly smooth and delicious soup that's easy to prepare. The shamrock-shaped cheese croutons add fun, crunch and flavour.
Shamrock Soup
1 large bunch broccoli
15 ml (1 tbsp) butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 l (4 cups) reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or stock
500 ml (2 cups) milk
125 ml ( 1/2 cup) shredded havarti, cheddar or mozzarella cheese
Shamrock Croutons
4 to 6 slices whole-grain bread
Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
Cut broccoli tops from stalks. Peel stalks and chop coarsely. Cut tops into small florets and set aside separately.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat; saute garlic, onion and 1 ml ( 1/4 tsp) each salt and pepper for about 5 minutes until garlic and onion are softened. Add broccoli stalks and potatoes and saute for 1 minute.
Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.
Add broccoli florets and boil gently, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until florets are tender.
Meanwhile, make Shamrock Croutons: Using a shamrock cookie cutter or a sharp paring knife, cut shamrock shapes from bread and place on a baking sheet. Preheat broiler.
In a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot if necessary. Stir in milk; heat over medium-low heat, stirring often, just until steaming (do not let boil). Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, broil croutons on each side until toasted. Ladle soup into bowls, top with a spoonful of sour cream, if using, and float croutons on top.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 227 calories; 10 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat; 4.5 g fibre; 508 mg sodium.
Cooking tip: If you want to use frozen broccoli, use 1.5 l (6 cups) or 500 g (1 lb) and add it frozen where it specifies to add the florets.

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