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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

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

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.

Pork Chops with Pineapple Mustard Sauce

Weekends are special around our home. That is a time when we try new dishes and new twists on existing ones.

This weekend I prepared Pork Chops on the grill and ate them with two dishes a friend prepared: Rustic Roasted Garden Vegetables and “Turnover Salad.”

Pork Chop Dinner

Before grilling, the Pork Chops were brought to room temperature and seasoned with salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, and rubbed sage. The way to add sage to a dish is pour it out in your hands and rub your hands together over the dish allowing the sage to drop down seasoning the chops.

Grilled Pork Chops

What makes this dish special is the sauce.

Pineapple Mustard Sauce


1 c Pineapple pieces
1/3 c Mustard, spicy
2 t Sugar

Place pineapple pieces in food processor and process until liquefied (I used my Ninja). Place liquefied pineapple in small pot with mustard and sugar and heat thoroughly. Spoon over grilled Pork Chops and Serve.

Crescent Roll Crust – Asparagus and Ham Quiche

I wanted to prepare quiche for breakfast but was looking for a lighter alternative for the crust since most quiche recipes call for a standard pie crust. Standard pie crusts are made with a lot of fat and tend to be somewhat heavy and have a flaky, crumbly texture.

I considered using puff pastry, but it is very high in fat and would not have provided the texture of the crust I had in mind. Another possibility I considered was phyllo dough, but that would have resulted in a crispy flaky crust. Plus, although phyllo dough itself is low in fat, in order to achieve the layers it is necessary to brush between each, usually with either melted butter or olive oil.

A friend (who not so coincidentally loves them) suggested using crescent rolls for the crust. Unaware of any other examples of using crescent rolls as crust for a quiche, I decide to try an experiment and use them.

Here are the results.

Crescent Roll Crust Asparagus and Ham Quiche


5 Crescent Rolls (I used low fat)

1 T Butter
8 Asparagus Spears, fresh
¼ Ham cubed
2 T Jalapeno pickled, chopped canned
1 c Spinach leaves, fresh chopped

4 Eggs
1 c Cream, heavy whipping
½ t Pepper

Smoked Gouda

Open the package of crescent rolls. Lay out 5 of them into a 9 inch pie pan starting around the top edge and pressing the dough until it forms a complete crust.

Bake crescent roll pie crust in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Trim off the fibrous end of the asparagus spears and cut into 1/2 inch segments. Saute in butter until soft, add cubed ham and cook until lightly browned. Heat jalapeno pieces with asparagus and ham then place in baked pie crust.

Whip eggs with cream and pepper then pour over asparagus, ham, and jalapenos.

Thinly slice smoked gouda and lay over the top totally covering the quiche.

Bake Quiche in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until jiggling the pan indicates the middle is firm. The cheese will also start to brown.

This recipe resulted in a very creamy quiche with a perfect crust. I will definitely make this again.

Pie Crust Shield

NOTE: You will need to either use a collar of aluminum foil or a pie crust shield to prevent the crust from burning while the quiche is baking. I got my pie crust shield for a reasonable price at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Check after 15 minutes of baking and if the crust edge is browning cover with foil or pie crust shield for the remainder of the time in the oven.

BTW – I baked the remaining 3 crescent rolls on a separate pan while cooking the crust the first time.

French Red Onion Soup

This is a delightful twist to a popular soup dish that is delicious, quick, easy, and inexpensive to make. The red and sweet bulb onions offer a flavor and presentation that add a new dimension to classic French Onion Soup which I think you will enjoy.

Although onions and onion soups were enjoyed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the oldest reference I could find for French Onion Soup is from 1651: “Potage of onion. Cut your onions into very thin slices, fry them with butter, and after they are fried put them into a pot with water or with pease broth. After they are well sod, put in it a crust of bread and let it boile a very little; you may put some capers in it. Dry your bread then stove it; take up, and serve with one drop of vinegar.” —The French Cook, Francois Pierre La Varenne, [1651] Englished by I.D.G. 1653, Introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001 (p. 130)

The word “soup” comes from the word “sop.” Sop, because previous generations did not have the availability of utensils we have today, so bread was the means used to eat the soup by “sopping” it in the liquid.

Bon Appétit

French Red Onion Soup

French Red Onion Soup

1 Red onion, medium
1 Sweet bulb onion
4 T Butter

4 c Beef broth

1 T Balsamic vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
½ t Tarragon, dried
¾ t Pepper, ground
Salt to taste

1 loaf French bread
Olive Oil
Garlic, minced
Parsley, dried
Gruyere or Swiss cheese, freshly grated

Chop onions and sauté in butter until soft and caramelized (browned). Do not add salt until after this point else you will end up with wilted onions.

Add broth, vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, dried tarragon, and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Slice bread lengthwise and then into pieces that will fit in your soup bowls and place on baking pan.

Mince garlic and blend with olive oil. Brush olive oil and garlic blend on each bread face then sprinkle with dried parsley. Broil until bread begins to brown.

Grate cheese and sprinkle over bread slices. Then return pan to oven under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Place a slice of bread in each bowl and ladle soup over it.

Serve immediately.