Monday, May 2, 2011

Meatless Monday: Cheese Soup

Spring has sprung, and the weather has taken a chilly, wet turn in Denver. I swear, this is the coldest it's been since that cold snap in December!

To stay warm, I made a delicious cheese soup in the slow cooker. It fills the house with a spicy, earthy aroma, it's gooey and cheesy, and it's hearty and wonderful. I recommend this recipe on a chilly evening.
I've always used the carton of organic vegetable broth and have never used canned. I've heard canned broth is very salty, so choose your preference. I think you can always add salt to the finished product, but you can never take it away.

This soup is supposed to serve six, and it's better for you if you divide it into six servings. We enjoy it so much, though, that we usually eat a little extra and only get four servings out of it. I divided out the calories, cost and protein for both (you can find that information after the recipe information). Enjoy!

Here's what you do:

Cheese Soup (Serves 4-6)

4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup peeled, chopped potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3-4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1 head of broccoli
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz cubed Colby Jack cheese

1. Combine carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, garlic and pepper in a slow cooker. Stir in three cups of vegetable broth and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours.

2. Stir in the can of drained corn. If the soup base is too thick for your preference, add up to 1 more cup of broth. Cut off the broccoli florets from the head of broccoli. Drop into the slow cooker but do not stir. Replace the lid and allow the broccoli to steam for 10-12 minutes or until it's bright green.

3. Stir the broccoli into the soup. Add cheese by the handful, stirring after each addition. Replace the lid and cook for 30-60 more minutes, until cheese is melted into the soup.

Per serving (4 servings):
Cost: Approximately $3.25
Calories: Approximately 620
Protein: Approximately 29g

Per serving (6 servings)
Cost: Approximately $2.15
Calories: Approximately 415
Protein: Approximately 19g

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