Twice this week I have prepared soup and I make no apologies for this. The weather has been crappy and there is nothing better on cold, blustery days than a good bowl of soup to warm the soul. Isn’t that what eating is all about? I know that it is probably about nutrition too… But seriously, if nutrition was the only thing we focused on then we would not have sweets or French fries! Think about all the things you eat, because you like them or crave them, which have NOTHING to do with nutritional values. You eat gummi bears, caramel popcorn, or pizza not because it is good for you but because it makes you happy; it warms your soul. There are so many people out there writing about how to eat this or that and make all these healthy substitutions and that is great. I love to make healthier substitutions from time to time. What I am writing about is the cooking I was taught, which is more about loving what you eat but not eating so much of it you feel like you will explode. Honestly a great small bowl of soup is much more satisfying than a huge bowl of watery diet soup. Just my opinion… Quality not quantity…
I will be open and honest that I am working to take off some weight. (Honestly I always wanted boobs, but these girls of mine are starting to take over, and I am not having that.) Looking at my recipes I can understand how my saying I want to lose weight could confuse people. I pay very close attention to how much I eat and making sure that everything is balanced. During the day I eat small meals that are healthier, like that wonderful bowl of fiber I eat in the morning. I am usually not hungry for lunch so that meal usually consists of some fruit; I cannot eat if I am not hungry, I get sick. Dinner, dinner is my time to splurge. I count points instead of calories and I am cognizant of what my balance is come dinner time. So a cup of a good soup (with cream, butter, or both in it) takes a good chunk of those points I count, but what a WONDERFUL way to spend them! Sometimes eating a rich (and points expensive) meal means I cannot eat my favorite desserts and have to opt for some fruit instead or nothing at all; I understand this concept. So many of us have forgotten these simple rules of portion control, so I feel it is important to remind people of that. This is what is working for me and as long as I remember to keep my portions reasonable I do okay. At the time of this writing I am .4 pounds away from my first weight goal!
1 bell pepper
1-2 carrots chopped
1-2 celery stalks chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (4 cups) Chicken Stock
2 cups half and half or Milk
½ pound of cheddar (could use another cheese or reduced fat cheeses, I like the 2% cheese)
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups (1 family bag) White and Yellow sweet corn
1 stick of butter (I usually use the half sticks and tell myself they are full sticks, but use a full stick for the roux.)
Melt 1 stick of butter add bell pepper, carrot, and celery, sauté for a few minutes. Add flour, make a roux. (Roux is a very old way of thickening sauces and soups. Commonly used in French or Cajun cooking) Cook roux until it is lightly brown, remove from heat.
Combine potatoes and chicken stock in large soup pot. Bring to boil, simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Half ways through simmering add the corn. Spoon small amounts of the stock liquid into the roux and stir or whisk vigorously to avoid lumps forming. Once the mixture is smooth, add roux to potatoes, corn, and stock. The soup will become thicker at this point; slowly add half and half, then cheddar, stirring as you add. Season soup mix with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; you may be tempted to leave out the nutmeg (I was when someone suggested it) but it really does make this soup! Add slowly and to taste. When cheese is fully melted serve!
You can freeze leftovers of this soup and use them on nights you don’t feel like cooking! Various members of my family and friends top this soup with different things such as bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream, more cheese, hot sauce, and plain pork rinds. Yes you read that right pork rinds. They add a different texture to the soup and really are not that bad. Feel free to experiment!