Yes, I'm the worst food photographer ever. I promise to work on it if I'm going to keep posting food pictures.
Anyway, I promised my lovely readers that I would post a good recipe from my ventures into Rachael Ray menu planning land, and here is my favorite so far: broccoli soup. I actually made this recipe in early December when the weather here was still mild and broccoli was still readily available. Some of you with greenhouses or in warmer climes may still be able to make this with fresh from the garden veggies, but I'll have to wait until the spring broccoli crop comes in. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I didn't make many changes to the original recipe really, but I like a potatoier soup (how's that for making up new words?), and I didn't have any shredded Swiss on hand so I had to adjust things a bit.
Broccoli Soup (adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray)-- 4 adult servings
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened and transluscent, stirring often. Add the chopped potatoes and 3 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Next, add the broccoli, cover, and cook just until the broccoli is tender, about 7 minutes. Remove half of the soup to a blender and puree; recombine with the other half. Stir in the shredded cheese and then the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
All in all, it took me about an hour to prepare this soup. Not bad at all. I garnished the kids' bowls with extra shredded cheese and served it with crusty bread (not the "Ham-and-Swiss Toasts" included in the Every Day menu plan because I have an extreme dislike of mayonaisse). Next time, I may puree the portions for the 5-year-olds completely. They are a bit put off by broccoli. The 2-year-old was no problem though, and she happily dipped her bread in and chowed down. I had a much larger bowl than I should have for dinner and an equally large bowl the next day for lunch. The next time I prepare this soup, I think I'll double the recipe and see how well it freezes.