Friday, December 30, 2011

Super Creamy Broccoli Wild Rice Soup

Becca here with a yummy soup that's super quick and easy.  You can easily have it on the table from start to finish in 30 minutes, cook and prep time included.  It's extra rich and creamy, making it perfect for company too.  Add some crusty bread and a fruit salad, and you have a great meal in minutes!

I first started making a variation of this recipe (with quite a bit more sodium and calories) from a cookbook I received as a wedding gift.  We were married in 2001, and received Taste of Home's "2001 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes" as a wedding gift.  I was 20 (I'll save you some math, I just turned 31 a few weeks ago :), and hadn't ever lived 'on my own' except in a dorm room with an amazing cafeteria right down the street, so that cookbook is literally how I learned to cook.  While it relied pretty heavily on cream soups, I loved the organization of it, the great photographs, and descriptions that the original recipe authors had contributed.  And the food nearly always turned out great.  In fact, I still make several of those recipes to this day, with several modifications to make them a bit healthier now that I am a bit more comfortable in the kitchen. 

I'm using one of my new favorite kitchen staples in the soup, greek yogurt.  Although it does cost a bit more than using sour cream or a cream soup in its place (which you could substitute if you really wanted to), the nutritional benefits are pretty way better; 6 ounces, the amount called for in this recipe, adds 18 grams of protein, as well as a lot of calcium, with not very many calories or carbs.
Super Creamy Broccoli Wild Rice Soup

1 box wild rice mix (I use Rice-a-Roni or Uncle Ben's, 4.3 oz)
4 cups water
16 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, thawed (if it's in a steambag, just cook it about 2/3 of the time)
3-4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tablespoons minced dried onion
6 ounces plain greek style yogurt (I like Fage Total 0%)
1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese), cut into chunks
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk

In a large pot, cook rice and water for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel & cut your carrots, and prepare broccoli*. 

Stir in broccoli, carrots, and onion.  Cover, and simmer 5 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Add greek yogurt and cream cheese and stir frequently until warmed through.  Be careful not to boil, or it will still taste fine, but the dairy ingredients will separate and not look 'picture perfect'.

Stir in milk to reach desired consistency.  Enjoy!

*If the broccoli is in huge chunks, I usually roughly chop it some more so that the pieces are bite sized at least; this depends on what brand you have.  You could also use fresh broccoli, although it will need to cook a few minutes longer.

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