Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Easy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup - recipe

By Martha McKinnon
 Knorr Feinschmecker Cauliflower & Broccoli Creme Soup -1Pack

This easy broccoli cauliflower soup is based on another simple recipe template I use a lot.

There are gazillions of recipes for "cream of vegetable soup" and/or "pureed vegetable soup" online and in cookbooks that are virtually all the same with very minor differences among them. (Trust me, I've spent more time than I should've comparing and contrasting them.)

The more you cook and read about cooking, the more you begin seeing patterns that let you rely less on recipes, which can make the process a whole lot easier and more fun.

To make a 'cream of' or 'pureed' vegetable soup, all you need to do is cook a vegetable or some combination of vegetables with some seasonings until tender, puree the mixture until it's creamy and then reheat it with a little cream or butter, if you want.

If the vegetables you're using don't have a lot of body or if you prefer thicker soups, adding a peeled and chopped medium sized baking potato or 1/3 cup rice will help. It also will add creaminess without the cream, something I first read in Julia Child's cookbook, The Way to Cook back in the 1990′s, when even she seems to have been affected by the low-fat craze.

Adding a bit of cream or butter at the end will make your soup incredibly smooth and rich, but this is totally optional. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don't, depending on the day and how virtuous I'm feeling.

There are two basic approaches for making a pureed soup. In the first, you begin by sauteeing an onion in a little oil or butter for a few minutes before adding the rest or your vegetables, seasonings and stock or water. The second and easier way is just to combine everything in a pot, bring it to a boil and then simmer until the vegetables are tender. Both methods can make great soups.

You can puree your soup in a blender or food processor, with an immersion blender or with an old-fashioned food mill. I like my blender best. (Last year, I finally bought the Vita-Mix I'd been coveting for years and now use it every chance I get!)

For a super quick and easy soup, you can even use frozen vegetables, which is what I did yesterday.

I will give you the basic recipe for a simple broccoli cauliflower soup along with several variations so you can see how variable this delicious satisfying soup can be.

Broccoli Cauliflower Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

You can use either fresh or frozen broccoli and cauliflower in whatever proportions you prefer to make this soup. I used a frozen package of broccoli cauliflower blend since that's what I had on hand. If you are in a hurry, skip cooking the onion in the butter, before adding the broccoli, cauliflower and stock. Once the soup is finished, if it seems too thick you can thin it to your desired consistency by adding more stock or water a little at a time.)

For a delicious burst of flavor, add a handful of fresh basil to the soup when you puree it and garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese.


1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 to 1 1/2 pounds broccoli and cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)

1 medium baking potato, peeled and chopped

4 to 5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

1/4 to 1 cup cream, preferably organic, if desired

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish if desired


Put the butter in a large, deep pot set over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli, cauliflower, potato and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (You'll want to give the pot an occasional stir to prevent sticking.)

Carefully puree the soup until smooth. If you're using a blender, be sure to let the mixture cool a bit and do it in batches, only filling the blender halfway, to prevent any exploding soup accidents. (It's also a good idea to remove the cap from the hole of the blender's lid and cover the hole with a dish towel while blending to allow the heat to escape and prevent splattering.)

Give the pot a quick rinse and then add the soup back to the pot set over low to medium low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream, if desired, and heat gently.

Other Variations and Combinations

Butternut Squash Coconut Soup: Use peeled and chopped butternut squash. Substitute 2 cups coconut milk for 2 cups of the stock. Add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic and 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder with the vegetables.

Carrot Ginger Soup: Use sliced carrots instead of broccoli and cauliflower. Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger with the vegetables. Add ½ cup orange juice and a small drizzle of maple syrup when you puree it.

Cream of Asparagus Soup: Use trimmed asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces. Add 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme with the vegetables. Stir in 1/4 cup cream and 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice at the end.

Cream of Mushroom Soup: Use 1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and chopped and 4 cups stock. Add 1/4 to 1 cup cream at the end.

Creamy Parsnip Soup: Use 1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces, 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces, 2 cups chicken stock and 4 cups water. Stir in 1/2 cup cream at the end.

Curried Zucchini Soup: Use sliced zucchini (about 3 medium). Add 2 garlic cloves minced and 2 teaspoons curry powder with the vegetables.

Martha is a healthy weight loss coach, cooking coach and cookie lover, who loves to share ways to make cooking and eating simple, easy and delicious and help you stop dieting and instead discover the pleasure of happy healthy balanced eating, cooking and living. Her websites include http://www.simple-nourished-living.com and http://www.besteasycookierecipes.com. Visit today to Get your FREE copy of her Homemade Granola Bars e-cookbooklet.

Lysander's Fresh Broccoli Soup Seasoning Mix - 12 Packages   Cauliflower Snowball Y Seeds  Batchelors Cup a Soup Cauliflower & Broccoli 108gThe Easy to Make, Delicious Soup Recipes Book: A Collection of Over 80 Recipes  The Victory Garden Cookbook  C'MON AMERICA, LET'S EAT!: Susan's Favorite Low-Fat Recipes To Fit Your Lifestyle
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paprika Chicken - recipe

By Wendy R.

'Chicken Legs In Paprika Cream Sauce' Wall Decal - 24"W x 23"H Removable Graphic

Without fail this recipe produces the most tender and tastiest chicken breasts we've ever had, this is one for the kids and students as it's so easy to make.

Ingredients: For each person 1 skinless chicken breast, oven chips / French fries, salad, paprika powder from the spice section, olive oil, 1 x garlic clove.

Put the chicken breasts in a bowl, cover with cold water, and put about 10 teaspoons of salt in (that's right, loads of salt), make sure the salt is all dissolved, then put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This is key to making the chicken tender whilst it's cooking, it's called brining.

After the hour take out the chicken, and rinse REALLY well with cold water to get rid of the excess salt. Empty the water out of the bowl. Pat dry the chicken breasts with kitchen roll to get rid of the excess water, and put back in the bowl.

Chop up a couple of garlic cloves finely.

Pour a small amount of olive oil over the chicken breasts, and add the garlic, rub in well. Sprinkle over the red paprika powder so both sides are coated, some ground black pepper if you have it, and rub it all in well ( messy hands!). Wash your hands well then put the bowl back in the fridge for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes heat up the oven to 180c, with a baking tray in the top.

Get the chicken out of the fridge, and stir it around in the bowl, making sure they are all coated with the oil, paprika and garlic on both sides.

When the oven reaches 180 put your chips / fries onto the tray, and if there's room put the chicken breasts on as well, otherwise put the chicken breasts onto a separate tray. If you put them all together, then at the end you can stir the chips around in the tray and they pick up the paprika and garlic oil as well.

Cook on 180 for around 25 minutes, until the chips are done. Half way through the cooking turn the chicken breasts upside down, and stir it all around so the chips get coated in the oil and paprika as well.

Serve with a side salad & some French or honey mustard dressing on the salad, and a bit on the chips if you like. You could also have some garlic bread as well - if you do just put in the oven with 10- 15 minutes to go.

Wendy R is a blogger on cooking, gardening and travel in Cornwall, with a passion for growing her own produce. For more recipes and gardening tips go to http://www.cornwallgarden.org

James McNair's Chicken   Maggi Fix for Paprika Cream Chicken Sauce Mix ( 1 pc )   Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals: What to Keep on Hand, What to Buy Fresh for the Easiest-Ever 30-Minute Meals  The Bon Appetit Cookbook  Dr. Atkins' Quick and Easy New Diet Cookbook
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