Thursday, February 19, 2009

leftover broccoli and brussel sprout soup

we love frozen broccoli and brussel sprouts during the winter as add ins to mac and cheese or just sauteed with some olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper as a side. these days produce is so ridiculously high that as much as i'd like to use fresh veggies, frozen veggies save us some money. unfortunately, for some reason, my boyfriend tends to leave just a few in the bag and then open a whole new bag whenever we need more. this has left us with quite a few almost empty bags of brussel sprouts and broccoli in our freezer.

with the lowering temperatures, i've been craving soup. so, i decided to scavenge through our freezer and pantry to see what i had to create soup. i had some cheddar soup base perfect since i love broccoli cheddar soup. what i made was so easy and a good way to use up some leftovers that i thought i'd share it.
my leftover broccoli and brussel sprout soup

leftover frozen broccoli and brussel sprouts
red pepper flakes
bacon bits(they are made with soy, so they are vegetarian.)
cream cheese soup base
water or vegetable soup broth
butter or marjarine
minced garlic

i took the leftover frozen veggies and placed them still frozen into the bottom of my crock pot.
next, i added a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
my attempt at a picture of me adding a few pinches of salt, and when i discovered how difficult it is to take a picture with one hand while adding ingredients with the other.
now, you can see i ground in some black pepper.
i added several pats of butter approxiamately 2 tablespoons and a spoonful of minced garlic.i added enough water to cover the vegetables, but you could also use some vegetable stock(or chicken stock if you eat meat.) i allowed this mixture to cook in my crockpot on high for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables were fully cooked. i let this base cool enough to blend. its important not to blend a hot soup as some may possibly come out and scald you. i took out about 2/3 of the mixture and blended it with some of the cheddar soup base. i only use 2/3, because i want some vegetables to still be intact to make the soup chunkier.

the blended mix should look like this when pureed thoroughly.
i added this back into the crockpot with the rest of the cheddar cheese base and some bacon bits for flavor and let it simmer on low til completely cooked. do not set the crock pot to high once the cheese base has been added as this may cause the cream base to scald and curdle. even on low, keep a check on the soup regularly, stirring frequently to avoid curdling. i checked mine every 20 minutes or so.
the final product. not the prettiest color, but man is it yummy and cheap since it was made only by raiding my freezer and pantry.
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