January 04, 2011

Cream of Cilantro Soup

Guess who made the "nice" list for Christmas? That's right! The Pretend Chef, that's who! Santa must have been listening to all of my whining requests for a food processor. He must have hired Mr. Sideline Chef's mother to do his Christmas shopping because the last gift I opened was my food processor. "Is it big enough?" his mom asks me. It has a 12 cup capacity. Plenty big enough... if I am feeding the U.S. Marines, haha!

The worst part about being on vacation and receiving gifts is that I have to wait to get home to try them out. Our last week of vacation went by surprisingly fast and before I knew it I was at home pulling my food processor out of the box and putting the thing together.

I am not the assembly pro in our household. Mr. Sideline Chef holds that title and for good reason. I sat down in the chair next to him and attempted to pull the damn thing out of the box. Already needing assistance with that task I knew it was going to be a headache. After I unwrapped all of the parts and laid them out I figured it couldn't be that hard to put it together since there were only a handful of pieces and one page of directions for assembly. It all looked foreign to me. Thankfully Mr. Sideline Chef could hear his damsel in distress and came to my rescue. He put it together and even gave me a demo on the workings. What a guy!

My next issue was when it came time to adding the ingredients into it. I'm 4'11" and the countertops in our apartment come up to the top of my belly button and the food processor stood at the same height as me. This meant I had to lift the measuring cup with my chicken broth above my head to place it in the food chute. Me and messes go hand in hand and I suffer from little person syndrome with not wanting to have to admit that I need to use a stool when cooking. Poor Mr. Sideline Chef... when we build our first home he's going to have a bad back since he'll have to bend down when using the countertops that I demand be built to my liking.

If you don't own a food processor I would highly recommend that you start doing good deeds the month before Santa's arrival to ensure one of these gadgets makes it's way into your possession. I didn't have to chop a thing! Whipping up some soup was incredibly easy and even more enjoyable and got dinner on the table in a fraction of the time.

Onto the soup... Cream of Cilantro Soup. Absolutely delicious and so simple to make. The name of the soup says it all. It has a subtle kick from the ground red pepper and is a solid base for adding more ingredients if desired. I added a can of black beans to make it more hearty for Mr. Sideline Chef and he said that without the black beans it would have not been as satisfying to quell his hunger. We came up with other variations of what to add next time, some chicken, cheese, tortilla strips, avocado... any Mexican flavors would be a great addition.

This soup is so delicious that I regretted cutting the recipe in half because Mr. Sideline Chef and I had a moment of, "No you eat the last serving." "No you." We went back and forth before I declared that the biggest compliment to me after preparing a meal is someone heading back for seconds. It was settled and we were both left satisfied.

MyRecipes.com and Southern Living, October 2000
Makes 6 cups (Serving size = 1 cup)

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (32 oz) package reduced sodium fat free chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 (8 oz) package fat free cream cheese
  • 1 (8 oz) container light sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
And Action:

Process cilantro and 1 cup chicken broth in food processor until blended.

Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat and whisk in flour. Gradually add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth, whisking constantly until smooth. Boil for 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro mixture, cream cheese, and remaining ingredients. Simmer soup for 15 minutes. Garnish if desired.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 156 (50% from fat)

Fat: 8.6g (sat 5.2g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.4g)

Protein: 7.9g

Carbohydrate: 9.3g

Fiber: 1g

Cholesterol: 31mg

Iron: 1.6mg

Sodium: 393mg

Calcium: 177mg


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