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Healthy Cream of Vegetable Soup

John T Pratt
 


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The other day I had a full vegetable drawer in the fridge and it was time to clean it out. Maybe I've had one too many salads lately, because I was looking for something a bit different. As chance would have it, I also had about 2/3 of a gallon of skim milk that needed to be used up by weeks end - so I immediately thought of cooking up a creme based soup. This one turned out to be a bit unusual (and tasty) because usually my vegetable soups are tomato based. I was surprised when I served this recipe that every single family member ate every last drop (even the teens in the house!).

Like most soup recipes, you can interchange the ingredients and vegetables with what you have on hand or need to use up - this just happens to be how I made the recipe last night. Keep in mind that even though this is a creme based soup - I tried to keep it as healthy as possible. In addition - this is a great vegetarian recipe to make for a meatless main dish!

Ingredients for Creme of Vegetable Soup:

  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion chopped
  • 1/2 Zucchini chopped with skin
  • 1/2 Green Pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp lite margarine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 lb chopped carrots
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 small bunch cauliflower chopped
  • 2/3 gallon skim milk
  • 2 packets powdered cheese mix
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Italian seasonings to taste
  • 1 tsp each thyme, rosemary, and sage
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground Cumin

A lot of creme soups are water based with milk added, but I've always made my creme soups 100% milk based whenever possible. I use skim milk, so it's healthier, and you do have to stir a 100% milk based creme soup more often while cooking - but I think it just plain tastes better.

I start this recipe off by putting chopping up the onion, green pepper, celery, and carrots and placing in a large 4 quart pot on the stove. Add the margarine and olive oil and turn the heat to med-high. What you're going to do here is get your vegetables soft in the butter and oil for about 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly.

Next have your milk handy and your going to sprinkle the 1/2 cup flour over the mixture in the pot while stirring it in with a spoon in the other hand. Do this until the flour is used up, and what you should end up with is a veggie mixture with flour that is clumped or balled up (but mixed well). Brown this for about 60 seconds, and then add the milk little by little, mixing as you go until the entire 2/3 gallon is gone. You have now created a rue which you have turned into the base for your creme soup.

Next I add the Zucchini, Broccoli, and Cauliflower to the pot (chopped of course). I saved them until I got to this point because these are much softer vegetables that cook quickly - and there's no point in pre-cooking them. Next I add all my seasonings, the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and sage - in addition to Italian seasonings, garlic powder, and cumin. These all seemed to blend very well together for this recipe and everyone loved the end taste.

Last but not least, I used 2 packets of powdered cheese. There are 2 reasons I do this. The first is - by not using real cheese I'm cutting out a lot of fat. In addition, this type of cheese is designed to get thick. Basically it's the same powdered cheese mix you might see used in food service for pretzel cheese, or macaroni and cheese. It has a thickening agent (like cornstarch) that thickens up your creme soup even more - but it also gives it a real cheddar-cheesy taste without having to use real cheese or Velveeta (which you could do - just wait until the soup is nearly done cooking!).

Once I added all the vegetables I added just enough additional milk to bring the level within about 2" of the top of my 4 quart pan. I did this to accommodate shrinkage (evaporation), since I cook this soup uncovered. You may or may not have to add milk to level it off at the end depending on how many vegetables you use and how much space in the pot they take up.

Bring the soup to boil on med-high and then turn the burner down to med-low, and cook for about an hour to hour and a half. While bringing to a boil, stir every 60 seconds - once you turn the burner down stir about every 5-8 minutes. This soup is best cooked in a teflon coated pan (better for cleanup too!).

John Pratt writes about his Fastest Weight Loss Diet , in addition to healthy recipes like this at Free Recipes Online !

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