Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ten in 2010: Week Eight and Some Almost Famous Broccoli Soup


This week was another crazy one around here. What's new? One basketball season is finishing up and another is beginning. We have basketball tournaments and wrestling meets as well as Math Club and 4-H. You'd think I'd be used to it by now but somehow it never seems to work that way. 

This is week eight of Ten in 2010. I'd been hoping all these healthy new habits would be set by now. Seems like it's been two steps forward and one step back most weeks. But even then, I'm in a much better place than I was before. I may not be drinking as much water as I'd like, but it is more than before. I am exercising. I am eating more vegetables and though it hasn't seemed like it, we are eating out less than we used to.

Running went fairly well this week. I ran five miles on Sunday. Yippee! Slowly but surely I'm getting there and with all this glorious sunshine, anything seems possible! For me running on a treadmill is like torture so I'm happy to finally be back to running outdoors. We'll se how my 7 miler goes today!

I did make a few yummy things this week but there didn't seem to be enough time to get them posted. Hopefully that will get a bit better. Time is really going to be at a premium starting this week. In addition to all of the kid's activities, I'm beginning a big re-decorating project around here this week. Starting with the hallway on Monday, I'll be working my way through the entire house painting, removing old wallpaper and paneling, learning how to tile and maybe even how to install some new lighting in my kitchen! The challenge will come after we finish the hallway. I'll be heading into the kitchen. I'm planning to remove the hideous paneling and take out the outdated soffits. I'm installing some new lighting and putting in some new flooring. I'm not sure how long that's going to take but I can imagine that preparing meals will become more interesting. My goal is to limit eating out to maybe one pizza night during the project. We'll have to see how that works out. It should be interesting becaue this is our month to host the monthly dinner party! 

Broccoli Soup is one of my favorites. It's what I always pick when we eat at Panera Bread. A few months ago Food Network Magazine published a recipe for Almost Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup. It took me awhile to get around to making it, but it was definitely worth the wait! Even

Almost Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)

Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.

No comments: