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"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.

In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

~ Julia Child

Friday, February 18, 2011

Soup is Healing

So this has been one of the worst weeks of my life!

 First, Last Thursday is when this all started.  A beautiful little two year old in my class was sick and had a febrile seizure in my arms.  911 and the parents were called and a trip to Children's Hospital was made.  I went with the family.  That is not the place you want to be.  I swear you could just see the germs crawling around the place. Ick and double ick!  Wow!!!  The little boy was seen and he is fine.  He went to the doctor the next day and the doctor said he had the flu.

I wake up Friday morning and I have had the flu.  I don't think I have ever had the flu before.  I have said I had it but I am here to tell ya this has been the most sick I have ever been.  Sometimes it seemed worse than my time in the hospital with Chron's when I needed a bowel resection. At least then they gave me morphine so I didn't care they were taking parts of my body out!  This was BAD!  Then by Wednesday I thought I had turned a corner and was on the road to recovery.  When I woke up Thursday morning I knew this was not the case.  I was 99% sure that a sinus infection had graced my body and antibiotics were in my future.  Went to the doctor and I was right.  He asked me if I had received my flu shot.  I told him nope.  He said I'll bet you don't do that again.  He is right!  I will always get my flu shot.  I have been in bed for 6 days and when I am not in bed I have been at the doctor!  ACK!  Not fun people not fun.  Not to mention that I do not have sick pay at all so I am missing 6 days of pay.  Ugh!  Oh well life will go on!

Friday, one week later.  I am feeling well enough to lay on my bed with my laptop and catch up on some blogging.  One thing that always makes me feel better when I am sick is soup!  Soup feels so good going down and warms you up!  This winter I have made several soups.  I had great plans of blogging about them all but I got swept away in my new kayak that I have pushed blogging to the side once again.  Well today is the day!  I am going to blog my little heart out and share two wonderful cream soup recipes.  Enjoy!
Canyon Lake, January 2011

 Pureed Broccoli Soup
Adapted from February 2011 EatingWell (1-year auto-renewal) 

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 medium onion chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 cups chopped broccoli 
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth.
2 cups water
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
In a dutch oven heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Add onion and celery and stir occasionally until softened. 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for about ten seconds.
Stir in broccoli, add water and broth and bring to a simmer over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until broccoli is very tender.
Puree in batches in a blender.  (I use my immersion blender.  A good immersion blender is priceless for soups. it is much easier then the batch blender method.)
Stir in half and half and salt/pepper to taste.  Serve with your favorite bread or crackers and you are in for a soothing treat!  

Now for soup number two

I know that I have said this in my last several blog posts but I am really stuck on the February 2011 issue of Clean Eating  it is amazing.  They better hurry up and send me the next issue or what will I have to blog about :)!!  This creamy vegetable soup uses tofu in place of cream or milk.  Wow!  This small ingredient not only add protein but also great richness with out all the calories!  

Cream of Vegetable Soup
from the February 2011 issue of Clean Eating page 33
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion, shallots or leaks (I used onion)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 lb chopped veggies (choose whatever you like, I used broccoli, sweet potato, tomato, cauliflower, bell pepper, and zucchini)
16 oz silken tofu
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Now lets get choppin'!
mmmmm brocolli
Oh look I think I added carrots too! :)

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and add onions. Cook until translucent about 5 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add vegetables and bring back to a simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.  This can take up to 25 minutes depending on the vegetables you choose.
Working in batches transfer to a blender and puree soup.  Or use a hand blender just like the broccoli soup. (this is my choice)
Add the tofu blend into soup.   Season with salt pepper and nutmeg pour into bowls and top with cheese!
These soups are delicious, nutritious and full of comfort on a cold day or when you loved one has the flu!  Truly a home cooked treat!

  Enjoy! oh and get your YUM on!

One of the many wonders of Canyon Lake.  We saw her with her fledgling.  
Arizona is truly beautiful and amazing! (now you see why it takes me so long to be indoors long enough to blog)

This post is dedicated to the Ritz family.  May you have a happy and healthy 2011!

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