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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

As part of New Year’s Eve and day, B and I have a tradition to eat extremely decadent food to end and start the year on a good note.  For New Year’s Eve day, we made: Parmesan crusted goat cheese ball with basil oil (I didn’t strain the oil like she did in this recipe though); an arugula salad with cherries, gouda, and pralines with a dijon mustard dressing; and lobster ravioli (we used the fake lobster instead of steaming and cleaning them).  It started out as being a dinner I was going to make for B, but given my terrible time management, it ended up mostly a dinner made by B for me.  The goat cheese was great, nice and light and a good way to start the meal.

The arugula salad was also great.  The sweetness of the pralines and cherries with the sharpness of the gouda and dressing was great.  We actually used two types of gouda since I had gone to our local supermarket and B had gone to Whole Foods to get some herbs they didn’t have at the other supermarket.  We used smoked gouda (I got that) and a very aged gouda (B got that).  The aged gouda was different from anything I had ever seen; it was a hard cheese and was very similar to Parmesan. It was, however, absolutely delicious (but I’m a cheese girl).

The ravioli was the biggest endeavor.  We made the dough from scratch and rolled it out.  We tried to use our ravioli attachment but, alas, that was not meant to be.  For some reason we just cannot make ravioli.  They either don’t come out filled enough, get stuck in the machine, or are just off.  One of these days we’ll learn the trick.

For New Years day we planned to eat french onion soup and beer steamed mussels.  I spent most of the day curled in the fetal position on the couch due to the champagne and beer imbibed the night before so B enjoyed the soup day of (I had made it ahead of time) and made the mussels for us (I helped a bit since I had become more human by that point).  I calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus for the soup; it made seven servings and were 3 PP per serving without the bread and gruyère cheese.

B said that this mussels recipe was the best we had made to this point.  We have previously made a fennel recipe and the standard one with white wine.  This was the first time we did it with beer.  The mussel’s recipe was built off of something online that we had found that I cannot find now (go figure).  It was very simple.  We basically did garlic, onion, chopped tomato, and beer to taste.  We also added some thyme since we had it leftover from the lobster ravioli.  We figured, its mussels, you can’t really go wrong.

All in all, a good end to 2011 and beginning to 2012, which will be very, very eventful for both B and I.

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This is a healthier version of another dish that we had made in the past.  We were looking to make sure that we were not going crazy with the very “pointy” foods.  We had this as our dinner (about 2-3 servings each) and it was definitely enough.  It would also be great as a starter for another meal.  I was originally thinking of making the soup and having quesadillas or veggie and shrimp fajitas.  For a soup, it was also very quick and easy to put together (I should know; I watched while B cooked it). Enjoy!

Shrimp, Scallops, and Corn Tortilla Soup
7 servings (1 cup), 4 PointsPlus per serving (31 total)

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes (canned), drained
3 cups vegetable broth
8 oz.  canned clam juice
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb. shrimp
1/2 lb. bay scallops
14 tortilla chips (2 per serving)

Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add bell pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in broth and clam juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add corn, scallops (thawed), shrimp (thawed); cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from heat; stir in scallions, cilantro, lime juice, and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Crumble two tortilla chips over each serving.

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Yet again B come through!  He found and cooked this entire meal while I had the luxury of sitting back and enjoying the Steelers game (we all see who won here).  In all honesty though, it was the perfect meal for a lazy day on the couch watching football championships.  The Lentil Soup took some prep time but most of the time was spent just letting it simmer and the same is true of the bulgur salad.

There are few a adjustments we made to the recipes I’m posting below and a few changes I might make in the future.  First, for the soup.  We doubled all of the spices.  Even with that it was still somewhat lacking.  This recipe also calls for 1/4 C of olive oil.  Since B was making it he made the call to follow the recipe but now, when we make it in the future, we will cut that down to about 1 tbsp.  It was a lot of unnecessary calories since the vegetables all cook well in the soup mixture.

In terms of the salad, the only real change we made was we put in the  juice of half a lemon.  In the future, we would definitely reduce the amount of parsley that went in and maybe use mint instead of cilantro to get a more dynamic flavor.  The parsley was somewhat overpowering for my tastes.

The bulgur wheat I found in our friendly neighborhood supermarket.  I found it in the “Middle East” section and it was labeled as cracked wheat in English with “bulghur” in a english-arab concoction.

The servings sizes were kind of approximated.  The bulgur wheat salad made  more than 6 servings at a 1/2 cup each it may be more like 4 servings at 3/4 cup each.  For the soup, the recipe we built from said it was six servings, but we calculated that we made 9 1 cup servings.  Based on these guesses that is how I calculated the points.

This is a great dish for a cold day and when you’re craving something with a more Middle Eastern flare.  Enjoy!

Lentil Soup
9 servings (1 C), 5 PointsPlus per serving
Takes about 1 hr and 30 minutes total to prepare and cook.

1 large onion, chopped
1/4 C olive oil
4 stalks celery, shopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground basil
14.5 oz Crush Tomatoes, canned
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender.  Stir in garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and basil; cook for approx. 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, add water and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.  When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts.  Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add more vinegar is desired.

Warm Bulgur Salad
6 servings (approximately 1/2 C), 2 PointsPlus per serving
Approximately 45 minutes for cooking and preparation time

1 1/2 C Broccoli Florets, frozen
1/3 c parsley, chopped
1/4 C red onion, minced
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup Bulgur Wheat

In a medium saucepan, cook bulgur according to package directions.  Meanwhile, microwave broccoli florets in bowl with small amount of water until just barely tender, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.  Carefully transfer broccoli to colander to let drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil.  In a large bowl, place cooked hot bulgur. Lightly toss with fork to separate kernels.  with fork, mix in parsley, onion, and cilantro.  While tossing mixture lightly with fork, drizzle in juice-oil mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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This could fit into the “semi-homemade” category.  This recipe was originally intended to be lunch New Years Day but the New Years Eve festivities were just catching up with us.  We ended up eating it for dinner and it was great as dinner as well.  I adapted this recipe from something that I had at my mother-in-law’s over Thanksgiving weekend. Its quick easy and delicious! Enjoy!

Crab and Corn Tomato Bisque
2 cans jumbo lump crab meat, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 cans Campbell’s tomato bisque
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Croutons for garnish
Grated mozzarella cheese for garnish

In a pot, saute up olive oil, garlic powder, and frozen corn.  Add crab meat to corn.  Add tomato bisque and 2 cans of water to crab and corn mixture and simmer until heated through. Garnish with croutons and a sprinkle of grated mozzarella cheese.

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