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Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup

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I love broccoli.  It happens to be one of my favourite vegetables.  It wasn't something we ever had when I was a child.  I think I was fully grown and married before I ever saw it, but it was love at first bite for me.  I pretty much love it in every way shape or form, except over cooked.  (I don't think anyone likes it that way and I can't say that I blame them!)  Unfortunately at this stage in life, Broccoli doesn't always love me.  It tends to play havoc with my diverticulitis and so I am very careful nowadays about how I eat it and when I eat it.  Raw or sometimes even cripsy broccoli is not on my menu any longer.

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I really, really love Broccoli Cheese Soup . . . but it can be really high in fat and calories.   With all of that cream and cheese  . . .  sigh  . . . kind of takes away from all of the positives of eating broccoli.

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I took our favourite broccoli cheese soup recipe, which has  bazillion calories in it, and I made a few changes in it to come up with a soup recipe which I think is just as creamy and delicious as the original, with no cream in it whatsoever, only 1 TBS of butter (instead of the original 2 ounces plus 1 TBS) and using a fraction of the cheese.

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I applied a tip I learned in my Cooking for Diabetes Class . . . I used a large potato instead of cream to both thicken the soup and to help give it that creamy texture.   It works amazingly well.

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I used a small amount of milk and only a fraction of the cheese, opting to use a low fat sharp cheddar (lots of flavour) and finely grated Parmesan.  Parmesan cheese has so much flavour that a little bit goes a very long way.

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I also made some really tasty whole wheat crackers to go along with it.  I used some Warburtons whole wheat wrap breads, that I spritzed with some water and sprinkled with some herbs and seasonings, cut into squares using a pizza cutter (easy to do coz the wraps are square) and then baked them in the oven until they were crisp!  I had my soup with some of these and Todd had his with a whole wheat roll. ( I have never quite gotten over my love of having crackers with soup.)  All in all this was very delicious, and made  nice light supper.  Plus it gave me another way of getting broccoli with is so good for you into Todd, who declared it very tasty and went back for seconds.

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*Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup*
serves 6
My attempt to make one of our favourite soups a tad bit healthier.  I think I've done just that!  Personally I thought it was as good as the original! 

1 TBS butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup  milk (250ml)
3 cups chicken broth (750ml) 
1/2 pound fresh broccoli, chopped (separate stalks from the florets)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into small bits
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 ounces grated strong cheddar cheese, lower fat (1 cup)
2 ounces finely grated Parmesan Cheese (5 TBS)
salt and black pepper to taste

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Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, carrot and broccoli stalks.  Sweat over low heat for about 10 minutes, without browning and stirring frequently.  Add the chicken broth and chopped potato.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Uncover and add the broccoli florets.  Bring back to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional five minutes.  Stir in the milk and nutmeg.  Blitz smooth using an immersion blender to your desired consistency.  I like it a bit chunky, but Todd prefers it smooth.  I try to get it somewhere in beween.   Stir in both cheeses to melt.  Gently reheat without boiling.  Adjust seasoning with some salt and black pepper.  Serve hot.

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Broccoli is one of those super foods that is very good for you.  A member of the cruciferous vegetable family,  it is loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidents and has been shown in recent studies to actually slow down the destruction of cartilage associated with Osteo-arthritis!  I have osteo-arthritis, which is a very painful and somewhat debilitating disease and so I need to be eating my broccoli, and lots of it.  This delicious soup can make that process very painless. ;-)

Bon Appetit!!

Marie Rayner
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  1. Why does osteo arthritis hit so many of us later?

    Geesh..I wonder if living a longer life is all that it is cracked up to be;)

  2. Only if you are healthy Monique! If you are not healthy its a real pain, every pun intended. My friend Audrey is really going through the Wars right now with her osteo arthritis. She's actually bed ridden at the moment. It's really bad. She is Todd's age, 77.

  3. I make a speedy version of this using frozen broccoli, spring onions and Stilton. And veg stock. I don't eat potato or milk due to the carbs.

  4. Sounds good CG. My Diabetic nurse told me that I need to have a certain amount of carbs each day as that is where the body gets its energy from. They do need to be limited to a certain amount, but I think ingesting 1/6th of a large potato isn't going to do me much harm, but I can see where if a person was on a no carb diet they would want to leave those things out! xo


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