It’s been cold, even here in southern California, I know, it’s nothing like the weather on the east coast right now, but 40 and 50 degrees is cold for this part of the country.
There is nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up quickly, while keeping the calories somewhat low and nutrition high. I have been making quite a few of my soup recipes lately, and here’s one of them. It’s not a split pea soup, this one uses fresh or frozen peas and is both simple and delicious. I use frozen peas because they are reasonably priced and available year round in almost any market. Sometimes I blend in a little tofu to increase the protein and make it more of a main dish. It is light and delicious, and I substitute store bought, fat free croutons when I am in a hurry and watching the calories. Or, I toast a couple of pieces of whole wheat bread, then tear them up over the top of the soup and garnish with a little bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Or, you can make the delicious croutons included in the recipe below. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion(s), medium, chopped
2 cloves garlic, fresh, minced
4 cups vegetable broth, I use reduced sodium
2 cups peas, frozen
1/4 cup bread crumbs, Italian herb flavored
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon pepper, black, ground
3 slices bread, sourdough, medium slice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon pepper, black, ground
1/4 teaspoon basil, dried
In a medium soup pan over medium heat, cook the olive oil, onion and garlic for 3 or 4 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the broth and peas and increase heat to medium high. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until peas are cooked through. In a blender or food processor, puree the pea mixture to desired consistency, in batches if necessary. Return the pea mixture to the soup pan, reduce the heat to medium, and stir in the breadcrumbs, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of black pepper (use a little less pepper if you want to, you can always add more to taste at the table). Cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or so.
To make the Parmesan croutons, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Combine bread, olive oil, remaining Parmesan cheese, pepper and dried basil and spread evenly in one layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, or until lightly browned. Garnish with Parmesan and croutons and serve.
Nutrition: Per Serving About: 280 calories, 11 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 16 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 610 mg sodium