Friday, April 18, 2014

Warm up your Spring with a Summer Veggie Cheddar Soup


By now you know I love to share soup recipes.  Spring mornings here have been below 20 and soup is still on the stove as a daily pick me up. We are all ready for color, warm breezes and the joy of raking and planting bulbs, dancing in the moonlight and planting seeds!  

 Here is a beautiful way to delight your eyes with color now. 
I recently had the pleasure of demonstrating at the amazing Full Circle Festival in Burlington last weekend hosted by Cabot Creamery and King Arthur Flour.  Everyone who tasted the soup were ready to go home and make it.  It is full of color, aka anti-oxidants (peppers, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots) and super immune building (onions, garlic, pepper, thyme) whole food joy.  The beauty of this soup is you can change it up by adding some cayenne pepper or Cabot's pepper jack or even a bit of their Habenaro cheese for more warming spices on these cold spring days.  A big batch can last you for days and pureed to a more chunky texture, it makes a fabulous spaghetti sauce.  The vital nutrients and protein make this a stand up meal on it's own.  Pairing it with any of King Arthur's perfect bread stick recipes is even better. ENJOY! Delish!!

PS. YOU ARE INVITED: Summer is coming soon enough- and there are still spots left for this special Herb Garden Retreat July 18-20. Discount is good until May 1st.  Find out more here.

Warm and Happy Spring Wishes!

Certified Health Coach and Herbalist
Twitter: MarieinVT09

Summer Veggie & Cheddar Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), cored, seeded and diced
1 cup carrots, diced
.    1  medium zucchini, diced
.    2  cups of baby spinach and baby kale
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes
1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add veggies and cook, stirring often, until soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add flour and stir for 1 minute longer.
2. Remove from heat. Add tomatoes, crushing each with your hand; add remaining liquid from can and stir tomatoes into veggie mixture. Add broth, half-and-half or milk and thyme; stir.
3. Return to heat and bring to boil. Lower to simmer, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes, stir occasionally.
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Cabot White Oak Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups), plus extra   Warm it up with some pepper jack or habenaro Cabot cheese.
for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste Garlic croutons (optional)
4. Remove from heat. Remove and discard thyme stems. Add cheese a handful at a time, stirring each time until cheese is melted.
5. Puree soup in blender in batches until smooth. Return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.  I used an immersion blender.. easy peasy.
6. Place over medium-high heat and stir until heated. Top with grated cheddar, plus garlic croutons
if desired.
Nutritional Analysis: Calories 297, Total Fat 19.5, Saturated Fat 9g, Cholesterol 48mg, Sodium 660mg, Carbohydrates 18g, Dietary Fiber 3.5g, Protein 13.5g, Calcium 355mg