So I don't have a picture of the final product of this recipe...my apologies. However I do have the nutrition analysis thanks to a friend, so hopefully that will paint a pretty enough picture of this delicious, rich, yet healthy cheese soup. Plus it's a bonus entry!
And even better than that, you don't have to stick to what I put into the soup. By making it with broccoli and cauliflower, and maybe chicken, your possibilities really go through the roof. So yes, you can eat healthy and have cheesy creamy soup!
I actually came up with this on Sunday night, after discovering the box of mac and cheese I'd planned to "doctor up" with some ham and peas had already been consumed....
Cheese Soup With Ham, Peas, and Potatoes
1 T Earth Balance spread (something with no trans-fats or sat-fats!)
1/4 yelllow onion (medium-sized)
1 T flour
3 c. skim milk
1 chicken boullion cube
4 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded or in small crumbles
3 oz. lean cooked ham
1 cup frozen small peas
3 small potatoes or one large potato, baked or microwaved to soften, then cubed. (great for leftover baked potatoes)
Black Pepper to taste
IMPORTANT: Have all your ingredients measured and chopped before starting to cook. This recipe requires constant stirring and attention to temperature.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the spread and sautee the onion until clear. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle flour in, and mix with the butter. Steadily whisk in the milk, incorporating the butter and flour. Add the boullion cube. Maintain the mixture just steaming but below a simmer. You may have to turn your stove to low. Simmering will "break" or curdle the soup.
Slowly add the cheese, about 1/2 an ounce at a time, continuing to whisk to incorporate. Allow the cheese to melt completely before adding more.
Add the potato and peas, allow soup to come back to steaming. Add ham, allow soup to just steam again, season with pepper (the cheese and ham will probably add enough salt.)
Serve immediately! Makes 3 1 1/2 cup servings.
7g fat (2g saturated, 4g mono, 1g poly)
If you break your cheese soup:
Remove all meat and veggies from your soup and set aside. In another saucepan, bring 1 cup of milk to steaming. Whisk in your existing broth a little at a time. Add back your meat and veggies. That should do the trick. You may want to add another ounce of cheese to regain the flavor, but then you'd also be upping your servings or portion sizes. 1 ounce reduced fat cheddar and 1 cup of skim milk adds 160 calories and 6 grams of fat to the recipe as a whole.