I am always looking for ways to make great recipes easy and more healthful. Starting with a class assignment, I took a fat-laden soup and made it healthy, as well as vegetarian/vegan friendly with some alternative suggestions. Here is the result of changing an Emeril recipe, made with heavy whipping cream and sour cream, to a heart-healthy winter dish, saving 426 calories (496 calories if milk is omitted). There are 45 fewer grams of fat and most of it is shifted to mono or unsaturated fat – the good kind). Serve with good bread and a salad and you have dinner! Yield = 4 servings.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup 2% milk (* may be omitted for vegan)
- Chopped chives, for garnish
Using a 4-quart stock pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Place the onions and celery in until they are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the carrots to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are lightly caramelized and start to soften, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the stock, salt, pepper and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the soup until the carrots are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup and puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a heat proof blender. Adjust the seasoning, add the milk at the end if desired (omit for vegan).
Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh chives or parsley.