Sunday, February 14, 2010

Microwave and Food Processor Make Soup Simple

There are some advantages to well-equipped modern kitchens. A hundred years ago kitchens were large rooms designed to handle lots of activity. When I was a boy, kitchens in many homes had shrunk to vestiges of their former selves. Today, kitchens are on the rebound. People, both men and women, are cooking again.

This potato and cheddar cheese soup was made using our microwave and food processor. And my wife advises using baking potatoes; She says they make a creamier texture.

In a three litre microwave safe casserole dish, she cooks two tbsp of butter with a couple of finely chopped garlic cloves, and one chopped yellow onion, from two to three minutes on high. Then, she adds five medium potatoes, peeled and diced, along with two cups of low-fat, low-sodium chicken stock. She seasons the mixture with a quarter teaspoon of dried thyme and some freshly ground pepper to taste. This is cooked uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes on high or until potatoes are tender.

She adds no salt as, between the chicken broth and the cheese, there is enough salt in this soup. If folks insist, they can always add some salt at the table.

She purees half the mixture in her food processor and then returns it to the casserole dish, adding two cups of milk. She microwaves this uncovered on high for up to four minutes. This should be well heated but not boiling.

She removes the casserole from the microwave and stirs in one cup of grated, medium-aged, Canadian cheddar cheese. Before serving, she garnishes each bowl with chopped chives, green onions will do in a pinch, and a little grated cheddar to kick up the look.

For the lunch shown, she also served fresh avocado spread on low-sodium crackers. A dribble of fresh lemon juice adds to the flavour.

If you're serving this as a light lunch to company, I always serve a simple white wine. (I don't need much of an excuse to open a bottle of wine --- or crack open a box. Just don't let your guests see the box.)

If you'd like to serve some fresh baked bread with this, try the simple machine bread recipe I posted to Group Recipes. I have also posted this potato and cheese recipe to Group Recipes.


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