Cream of Potato Soup – reduced fat

Today’s recipe is for a hearty soup whose warmth is just right for the cold weather outside. Plus it just might cure what ails you, as a friend who had been feeling ill said eating this soup made her feel all better.

Cream of Potato Soup

My first thought was to use some extra potatoes that were left in the pantry to make a baked potato soup with cheese, but after some discussion I decided to make a low fat version with a creamy base not created from using fatty ingredients, but by pureeing some of the potato with my brand new stick blender. I had already used this method recently to make a thick soup base from cooked cauliflower in an excellent corn and seafood chowder.

Here is my recipe for Low Fat Cream of Potato Soup for you to try and enjoy.

Cream of Potato Soup

Ingredients
4 Russet Potatoes, medium sized, peeled and cubed
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced thinly (with skin, omitting end pieces)
4 c Chicken Broth
1 Yellow Onion, medium
1 T Butter
4 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
¼ t Red Pepper Flakes
½ t Black Pepper
½ t Salt, Kosher
3 Scallions

Instructions
Melt butter in pot and sauté ½ of the yellow onion, diced, until translucent. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 3 of the russet potatoes that have been peeled and cubed. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered until potatoes are fork tender.

With your stick blender puree the cooked onions and potatoes in the pot until smooth.

Add the remaining 2 cups chicken broth along with the single cubed russet potato, the sliced Yukon Gold Potatoes, and the other ½ yellow onion which has been roughly chopped. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 5 minutes.

Add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, kosher salt, and thinly sliced garlic. Simmer covered another 5 minutes, then add the chopped scallions, turn off the heat and let sit covered an additional 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Launch a Virtual Food Drive as part of your Thanksgiving activities

Virtual Food Drive

As many of our readers know, we at Lukewarm Legumes are supporters of the nonprofit organization Feeding America and are members of its bloggers council.

As such we urge you, your family, friends, and neighbors to join Chef Mario Batali by participating in a Virtual Food Drive as part of your Thanksgiving activities. It’s an easy way to help fight hunger in America by raising funds for families facing hunger around the country.

Chef Mario Batali

To read his letter and learn more about his initiative, please click here.

One in six people in America — working families, children, and seniors struggle with hunger. Starting your own Virtual Food Drive is an easy thing you can do to help. Simply complete the two-step online registration and then tell your friends and family how they can help Americans facing hunger by donating directly to your personal Virtual Food Drive.

This is something both individuals and organizations can participate in. Consider asking your employer along with places where you worship and do business to start a drive as well.

Even though times have been difficult for many of us, we still have a lot to be thankful for. Helping others can be an encouragement by helping take the focus off  of our own issues, trials & troubles.

We wish all of our readers a blessed holiday season with many joyous gatherings of family and friends — along with good food, of course!

Lime Ginger Mint Sauce

Today’s recipe is for a sauce which is very refreshing and easy to make. It can be used for fruit salads as well as a sweet companion to your favorite alcoholic beverage.

Why not try it for your next summer party?

Cantaloupe with Lime Ginger Mint Sauce

LIME GINGER MINT SAUCE

Ingredients
1/4 c Sugar
1/4 c Water

One lime zested and juiced
1/2 t Fresh Ginger, grated

1 T Fresh mint, minced

Lime and Ginger with Zester and Juicer

Instructions
Combine the sugar and water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir until dissolved. Place in refrigerator to cool.

When cool, add lime zest, lime juice, and grated ginger.

When ready to use, add mint.

An excellent use is to pour over freshly cut melon and serve as a refreshing summer desert.

Ginger Limoncello Spritzer

A month or so ago I was exploring one of the establishments of my local purveyor of fine spirits (Spec’s) and decided to try something new. Summoning a member of their staff, I expressed my enjoyment of lemons and asked her which of the offerings on the shelf of lemon liqueurs she would recommend. She highly praised the Paolucci Limoncello with the suggestion that it should be enjoyed well chilled. Limoncello is a sweet liqueur flavored with the zest of lemons which originated in Southern Italy. After having chilled it thoroughly, I tasted it once and it has been sitting in the refrigerator since.

Paolucci Limoncello

I happened to notice it again the other day and thought it might taste really good mixed with Ginger Ale, so I tried it and was delighted. It is a simple concoction and I think you will enjoy it too, especially during these hot days of summer, as it is a really refreshing beverage. (Kind of a grown-up lemonade.)

Ginger Limoncello Spritzer

Here is the recipe:

GINGER LIMONCELLO SPRITZER

Ingredients
2 oz. Limoncello (well chilled)
Ginger Ale (cold)
Crystallized Ginger

Lemon Slice
Sprig of Fresh Mint (I used chocolate mint)

Instructions
Fill a 6 – 8 oz. Whiskey Glass with cracked ice. Add piece of crystallized ginger. Pour in 2 oz. of Limoncello and fill the glass the rest of the way with Ginger Ale.

Add lemon slice to side of glass and top with sprig of mint.

Mmmmmmmmmm refreshing!

Easy and Inexpensive Sangria

During the hot summer months, you’ll be hard put to find a beverage more refreshing than Sangria. A few weeks ago I made a batch using an inexpensive red wine and it has become so popular around our household, I have been keeping a pitcher in the refrigerator ever since.

Sangria

I think you will like this recipe too because it is quick and easy as well as light on the pocketbook. Try it and let me know what you think.

EASY and INEXPENSIVE SANGRIA

Ingredients
2 Liter Paisano
1/2 c Sugar

1 Liter Ginger Ale

1 Lime
1 Lemon
1 Orange
1 Apple

Sangria Ingredients

Instructions
Pour Paisano (or any red wine) into a pitcher and stir in sugar*. Add Ginger Ale and stir gently.

Slice fruit very thinly** and add (all except the apple core) to the liquid.

Stir and chill thoroughly.

Enjoy! It’s that easy.

* I discovered it is better to add the sugar before mixing in the Ginger Ale because if you add the Ginger Ale first and then the sugar, the mixture will bubble up and make a mess all over your counter.

** For slicing I use a Mandolin. I really like using the one I have made by OXO which allows many options for slicing, dicing, and julienne with an easily adjustable setting for thickness.

OXO Mandolin