We are in a soup rut, but it's a good soup rut. Frozen temps, closed-down city, traffic at a snail's crawl on the roads—yesterday was Snow Storm Redux in our town, as it was in many other places as well. Fresh broccoli was in the fridge and needed to make its way into something healthy.
Any more, however, we also don't make light of the prosaic stalk of celery and its health benefits as well. Hubby recently read about how celery is super for its ability to drive down blood pressure. Since managing the BP sometimes is a challenge for him, he's started adding celery wherever possible—even into his famous smoothies! (Doesn't taste bad at all; surrounded by so much fruit and yogurt and nuts, it's hardly recognizable in a smoothie drink.) Celery's apparent cancer-fighting properties boost its popularity as a health-filled add-in.
So with broccoli, celery, corn kernels, and onion on hand, we were ready to roll. No reduced-sodium chicken broth on the pantry shelf, so I simply covered some uncooked chicken breasts in a pan of water and let them boil for 20-25 minutes until the breasts no longer were pink and I had a nice supply of fresh broth ready for my soup. Much better choice than the canned broth (even the lowered-sodium kind) anyway. Plus now I have some cooked chicken bits reserved when I need them for a casserole.
To make a long story short, we had another wonderful soup night. Adding the Cheddar cheese to the thickened soup base made it creamy, cheesy, and great.
Texas may never again have another Arctic season like this one has been, but next year if we spend a lot of time fraternizing with snowflakes, as least my healthy soup-recipe file will be ready.
Creamy Broccoli Soup
3 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
2 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium (or make your own)
4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Cheddar cheese, reduced fat, shredded
cayenne pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan place vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl mix milk, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Add milk mixture to vegetables and heat on medium high heat. Stir until soup is lightly thickened and begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add cayenne if desired. Makes 6 1-cup servings.