March 2007 Archives

Carrot Soup

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This goes in the category for Easiest Dinner Ever! This is adapted from the excellent How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart by Pam Anderson which I purchased back in 2000 or 2001. The book did it's job well with this recipe, and a few others. In it, she teaches basic techniques so you only have to substitute ingredients in the correct proportions to get something good.


Carrot Soup
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 lb. carrots, chopped
1/4 lb. fingerling potatoes, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
enough chicken broth to cover, I used about 3 cups because my onion was really large.
1/2 cup half-and-half
fresh basil for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Start the broth warming up to a boil while you chop the veggies. Toss them in as you finish chopping (except for the basil). Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until you can break up the carrots with the back of your spoon.

When the soup is done, add the half-and-half, and use an immersion blender to blend til smooth, or puree in batches in a blender.

Add salt and pepper to taste. (Depending on your chicken broth, you may not need to add any salt.)

Serve with a chiffonade of basil on top.

This makes about 3 servings, and is quite filling. I usually don't add the potatoes, but I didn't have enough carrots to make a pound, and I had the fingerlings so I threw them in with the skin on. The blender makes the soup quite smooth even with the skin on, plus gives you a little extra fiber!

The idea for this recipe is to substitute 1 lb of veggies and the fresh or dried herb of choice to come up with your favorite Cream of XXX soup. The first one I ever tried was carrot, and that's what gets requested all the time, so I actually haven't tried any others. You could use broccoli, cauliflower (you'd have to tie me down to make me eat that, though) butternut squash with ginger, red pepper, really anything you've got. I've made it with beef, vegetable, and chicken stock, and we both prefer the chicken stock version the best. The vegetable stock competes with the carrots, I think. Anyway, this is a great recipe for clearing out the crisper, so give it a try and see if you like it?!

I was looking for something to fill my Tivo during the dearth of viewing called "March Madness" and came across a show called "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger" on FoodTV. It's aparently in it's second season, but I hadn't heard of it before. I put a season pass on it, figuring I had nothing to lose.

I watched the first episode my Tivo picked up, and although the recipes she made didn't sound very interesting to me, I liked what she was saying about nutrition and cooking from the pantry. She sort of has that fake smile, not quite as fake as Giada (who's food looks good, but what's with the mouth!) but what she was saying was the kind of stuff I like to hear in a cooking show. I decided to keep the season pass and see what came up next.

This recipe was so good that I didn't have time to take a picture. I will probably make it again real soon, so I will hold off long enough for a photo next time I make it. I can't say enough good things about it, it was that good.

I didn't make any substantial changes to the recipe. I didn't have natural creamy peanut butter, but I did have natural crunchy. I blended the sauce a little longer to crush the crunchy a little smoother, and I used cilantro where it says to use basil or cilantro. I served it with a side of brown rice and some steamed baby broccoli, which is really yummy with a squeeze of lime juice. There was plenty left for lunchboxes the next day, and there was even some peanut sauce left over, which I think my husband had with some veggies the next night for dinner. (I don't know how exactly it dissapaeared...)

It's not a low fat recipe, but it's not animal fat, it's all in the peanuts and lite coconut milk, so if you plan for it, your overall fat for the day or week can balance out this indulgence. It's so good, and the thing I like best is that I know what's in it, so I don't feel bad about having it, whereas at a restaurant, you never know what's in stuff. Try it, and see if you agree!

Chicken Sate with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Source: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger
Copyright 2006, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (or 2 additional teaspoons low sodium soy sauce)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pounded slightly and cut into 1-inch strips
8 (8-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked for 20 minutes
3/4 cup Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, recipe below
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or cilantro leaves
1/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Add the chicken strips and marinate for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over a medium-high flame. While pan is heating, thread chicken onto skewers. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, until meat is cooked through and has light grill marks.

Serve chicken skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and garnish with basil or cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Yield: 4 servings (2 skewers and 2 tablespoons peanut sauce per serving)

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Sauce can be made 1 day ahead of time, and will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups

Episode#: EK0210
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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