Friday, June 29

Life's a Bowl of...

Cherries! Is there anything better than cherries in the summer? I don't remember having these growing up, but our friend Jeremy loves cherries, and he introduced me to them when we moved to Nashville. Now I'm addicted! Firm, sweet, juicy, beautiful color -- the only bad part is the pit, but the fruit is worth it to work around that one little negative. Since I was born in the summer, I remember looking forward to the corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake that was sure to be part of my birthday celebration. It's no different now, but I've expanded my fruit repertoire to include nectarines, blueberries, pears, oranges, clementines, and more -- all of which are readily available right now! Josh and I love peaches and nectarines, and our Publix carries the best nectarines!! I was telling a friend a few days ago that when I go to the store and see all the yummy fresh fruit, I just can't resist trying some of everything! Then we end up having fruit at every meal just to eat it all before it spoils...which of course isn't a bad thing. I'm so glad fruit is good for you! Everything in moderation, right?

In keeping with my bowl theme, here's a picture of some Healthy Broccoli Soup Josh and I made last night. Josh went out to check the garden yesterday morning, and he came back with about 5 heads of broccoli that were almost past their prime (some of it was already inedible -- ever seen flowers on a brocolli head? nope, me neither until yesterday!). We had to come up with a way to use it all in a hurry, so we decided broccoli soup would be the best option. I checked out some recipes and came up with a mixture of a few that we made our own. I'm including the ingredients without definite amounts on some things b/c I tend to do a pinch of this and a pinch of that until it tastes right. Soup may not sound like a great summer option, but this has a nice light base (1/2 stock, 1/2 skim milk), so it's not thick and creamy like a winter soup.

olive oil
1/2 to 1 c. each of celery, carrots, and onions - chopped
2 small potatoes or a few handfuls of baby reds - chopped
1 package ground turkey breast
equal parts of chicken stock and skim milk (I think we ended with 4 cups of each)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. oregano (or a little under 1/4c. fresh if you have it)
1/4 tsp. chicken grill seasoning (could use freshly ground pepper here)
3 pinches of cumin
salt to taste
5 c. (about 2.5 pounds) of fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 to 1 c. baby portabellas, chopped
1/2 c. fat-free cheddar, shredded ("fresh cheese" in Kaden-speak) [We added some muenster b/c we didn't have enough cheddar on hand. If you're flexible, there are many cheeses that would work.]
3 T. parmesan cheese ("sprinkle cheese" in Kaden-speak)
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
fat-free sour cream for garnish

Saute the celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes in the olive oil for about ten minutes. Add the turkey breast to cook it with the veggies. When the turkey is no longer pink, add the chicken stock and milk. Drop in your seasonings -- bay leaf, oregano, grill seasoning, cumin, and salt. Bring it to a boil quicky, and then drop it to a simmer until the veggies are tender. Add the broccoli and simmer until tender. When the broccoli's nearly done, add the cheese, mushrooms, and basil. Remove the bay leaf and serve in bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and dollop a little sour cream on top. Eat and ENJOY!

*This would also be a great vegetarian soup. Just sub veggie stock and omit the turkey.


Lil_LPerry said...

I LOVE cherries....usually they are SO expensive, but this week at our local grocer, we found them for cheap per pound, so we got some. They are a delicious delicious treat!!!
I'm glad to hear that your garden is such a success! That must be SO fun to have fresh veggies in your own backyard! I miss you SO much and would love to come and visit again. Have a great weekend!

Shelley said...

I'm not a huge cherry fan, but I think they are pretty. :-) Glad your garden is a success. Our isn't. That's why I went the Farmer's Market route... ;-) Oh well. We'll get better as the years go by. Practice makes perfect. If the music thing doesn't work out for you all, you could write a cook book. Rachel Ray MOVE over!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Derrak and I LOVE cherries. They are one of the best things of summer.

Do you think your soup would freeze well? Sounds like it might.

Hope you are well!

Melanie Ostovic

JLHesse said...

Hey, Melanie -- I'm not sure if the soup would freeze well. It didn't last long enough to freeze--Josh and I gobbled it up very quickly! Let me know if you try it. And I'm glad you agree with me on the cherries. Yum-O!