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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reformed Broccoli Cheddar Soup (with a Tiny Tornado on the side)

I have a 19-month-old stranger living in my house.

She is feisty, independent, determined and stubborn.  I am not quite sure WHERE these qualities could have come from....I am guessing she picked it up from her playmates at school (insert copious amounts of sarcasm...obviously, she got these qualities from....her father).

Where is my baby?  My baby that was easy going, went with the flow, traveled well, was my partner in crime and up for anything Mommy suggested?

Where did she go?

My little lady is going a million miles an hour, even when she's at rest.  I can see it in her eyes, observing constantly her surroundings.  I can see it in the way she tilts her head to the side, listening to a new or interesting sound.  Every day is bursting with new words, new discoveries, new connections.  From an on-lookers perspective it truly is incredible the speed with which she learns, the ease with which she absorbs new information is envious.

From a SAHM's perspective....it is exhausting frustrating overwhelming challenging to say the least.

Did I mention we have another little lady on the way in just a few short months?

Buckle up, Mommy.

I was pretty convinced my daughter would skip right over the toddler craziness and just stay my sweet baby girl.  I was convinced of this for no other reason than I thought certainly I could simply will her to bypass this phase...oh silly, silly me.

Think again Wonder Woman.

Needless to say, being (almost) 7 months pregnant and not being able to enjoy my standard glass of wind-down-wine at the end of every a crazy day....makes me want to eat.  A lot.  Eat a lot of chocolate.

Dilema.

What does this gal do when faced with such  dilemma?  Compromise.  With myself.

Make a delicious, warming, wholesome soup and hope that filling up on it will stave off the chocolate craving until later tomorrow.

Having homemade soup in the house is great because I can heat it up in a hurry, my little lady loves that she can practice using her spoon while eating it, my husband can easily heat it up on the days when he gets home after this Mommy has closed the kitchen, and I can pack a ton of wholesome goodness into one lovely, bubbly pot of tasty comfort.

Growing up, my Mom's Soup Du Jour was typically Broccoli Cheese Soup (I still ask for it every time we go for a visit to her house). Delicious, easy and satisfying.

In an effort to eat organically and to fuel my body with more wholesome foods, I have created my own version of this delicious soup which includes the addition of more veggies and the exclusion of processed cheese :). Regardless of what I have added to the recipe or what I have taken out, the nostalgia is the same, warming my soul from the inside out, calming my spirit and providing an instant smile.

Easy and filling, this recipe may just end up being your go-to Soup du Jour.

Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8-10

INGREDIENTS:
2 Large Heads Organic Broccoli, florets removed and chopped
1 Large Head Organic Cauliflower, florets removed and chopped
3 Large Organic Carrots, peeled and chopped (appx. 1.5 Cups)
4 Stalks Organic Celery, leaves removed, chopped (appx. 1 Cup)
1 Medium Organic White Onion, chopped finely (appx. 3/4 Cup)
2 Tablespoons Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 Cups Organic Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream (can substitute light whipping cream)
1 Cup Organic 1% Milk
2 Cups Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I use block cheese and shred it myself, seems to melt more easily this way but pre-shedded works as well)
1 10-oz Package Organic Quinoa Pasta (can use any variation of pasta you wish)
2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

Directions

  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, warm olive oil and sauté onions and celery until onions are just clear (about 5 minutes).






  • Add chicken broth, spices and all remaining vegetables to the pot, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Continue boiling for 10 minutes.



  • Add pasta to the pot, continuing to boil uncovered until pasta is tender (10 - 15 minutes depending on type of pasta).



  • Add shredded cheese, stirring until fully melted.



  • Turn heat off and add milk and cream, stirring to combine.



  • Serve immediately or warm in a crockpot until ready to serve.  



  • Soup can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, enjoy!