Monday, January 5, 2009

Two Different Soups, One Great Garnish

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Parmesan Croutons

This smooth and slightly sweet soup pairs well with the savory crunch of the croutons.

The Soup


3 cups mashed butternut squash
(about 1 medium squash-will need to cook it prior to making soup)
1/2 cup diced shallots
3/4 cup chopped gala apples (about 1 small apple)
Two 14 ounce cans vegetable or chicken broth
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste


First, cook the butternut squash until tender. This is best done by baking the whole squash (after piercing a few times with a knife) in a 350 degree oven until soft, about an hour. Let the squash cool and then scoop out the seeds and discard. Remove the squash away from peel and set aside in a dish. Put the minced shallots and diced apple into a medium pot sprayed with ICB or olive oil sprayer (or drizzled with 1 teaspoon of olive oil) and sauté until tender. Add the squash and broth and bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully transfer the soup into a blender. If you have a smaller blender do this in batches, instead of blending the entire amount at one time. Add only one fourth to one half of the mixture at a time (you can put the other half in a large bowl.)

**A note about blending hot liquids: in order to be safe, it is recommended when you blend hot liquids that you never fill the jar more than half full, that you put the lid on and then cover it with a dry towel and hold it down by hand. Or instead, cover with the top, but leave out the center plastic covering, place a kitchen towel on top, which will allow air to escape more gently. Also, use as slow a speed as possible. NEVER blend hot liquids fully covered and at high-initial're just inviting burns as the hot liquid quickly blends, heats up the air above it, and causes an explosion through the blender top.

Blend in batches on low speed for about a minute, until a smooth consistency is reached. Put all of the finished blended mixture back in the saucepan and warm on low heat for 5 -10 minutes, stirring frequently (to prevent the thick soup from spattering.)

Variation: to reduce sodium content you can use low sodium chicken broth

Makes 6 cups, four servings
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups Calories 110 Protein 4 g Carb 25 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 3 g Fat 1 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 820 mg



2 slices whole grain bread ( I used oroweat double fiber brand)
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
ICB spray or olive oil sprayer or cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line a small baking sheet with tin foil (or spray it with cooking spray) Cut the bread into small (about ½ inch) cubes and spray them lightly with ICB or olive oil sprayer. Bake for 5-10 minutes on one side (until lightly browned), turn over and bake for another 5 -10 minutes. Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over them and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned. Remove form oven and add salt to taste if desired. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge if they will not be used immediately.

Makes 1 cup, 4 four servings

Serving size: ¼ of mixture (croutons only) Calories 60 Protein 1.5 g Carb 8 g Fiber 3 g Sugars

Rustic Vegetable Soup

My husband and I consider this soup great comfort food, nice for when you are under the weather, or just want to warm up and feel good. It is perfect thing to make if you have “gone off the wagon” with respect to watching your diet, as it is low in calories but high if fiber and very filling. No fancy herbs and spices in this soup, just the goodness of the veggies and turkey bacon which gives it a smoky flavor. You can sprinkle with parmesan cheese as a garnish or even better- the parmesan crouton recipe (listed above) makes a great topping.


2 slices turkey bacon, diced (I used Jennie O brand)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup quartered Brussels sprouts
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
1 cup chopped yellow squash
Four 14 ounce cans of vegetable or chicken broth
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)


Put the turkey bacon, onions, carrots and celery into large sized pot sprayed with ICB or olive oil sprayer (or 1 teaspoon olive oil) and sauté until just before tender (about 5-10 minutes). Put in the rest of the veggies and broth and bring to a light boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.


If you are watching your sodium you can use low sodium chicken broth in place of regular and if you are not a fan of one of the veggies in the recipe, sub in a cup or two of another such as cauliflower, green beans, spinach etc.. Vegetarians can use soy bacon instead of turkey.

Makes 10 cups, five servings

Serving size: 2 cups Calories 99 Protein 6 g Carb 18 g Fiber 5 g Sugars 6 g Fat 1.5 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 815 mg (not counting any cheese or crouton garnish)


Ed Chrabaszewski January 6, 2009 at 7:14 AM  

This a great time of the ywear for soup recipes. Thanks

Anonymous,  January 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

Hi, Liz from here. Congrats on your new blog. Recipes look terrific.
I'm an RD blogger & podcaster. I'll be sure to visit your blog often.

Linda February 20, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

I am going to give your croutons a try today!

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