DEAR SOS: A friend and I had a most delicious spinach-mushroom soup made in a blender for lunch at Bloomingdale's in Century City. It was light and seemed low in calories.
DEAR ROZ: You're correct. It is low in calories. Chef Edwin Polanco at the 59th & Lex Cafe at Bloomingdale's in New York City created this and many other popular low-fat soups.
BLOOMINGDALE'S SPINACH AND MUSHROOM SOUP
3 baking potatoes
1 yellow onion, diced
1 pound spinach
1 pound button mushrooms
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups low-fat milk
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and peel. Puree potatoes, onion, spinach, mushrooms and stock in batches in blender. Pour into large pot and add milk, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
12 servings. Each serving:
89 calories; 596 mg sodium; 4 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 11 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.80 gram fiber.
Horchata Packs a Punch
DEAR SOS: My mother keeps asking me to track down a recipe for horchata, the Mexican punch. Please help.
DEAR NAIDA: Here is the standard horchata made with rice. It's a healthful, refreshing drink for warm days or a Mexcan theme party.
HORCHATA DE ARROZ
1 cup short-grain blue rose rice
1 cup sugar
3 sticks cinnamon
2 cups canned evaporated milk
Combine rice, sugar, cinnamon and 3 cups water. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer until rice is very soft, about 1 hour. Remove cinnamon sticks.
Puree rice in blender in batches, adding water, about 3/4 cup in all, as needed to facilitate blending. Mixture will be quite thick.
For each serving, combine 1/2 cup rice mixture, 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup evaporated milk in tall glass or blender and mix well. Serve over ice.
8 10-ounce servings. Each serving:
272 calories; 68 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 51 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.07 gram fiber.
Puff Go the Tomatoes
DEAR SOS: I am looking for a recipe for tomato souffle. Can you help?
DEAR JACK: This is a pretty standard, but well-seasoned, recipe. You can omit the hot pepper sauce or add more, depending on taste.
6 eggs, separated
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 drops hot pepper sauce
Place egg whites in large mixer bowl and yolks in small bowl. Grease bottom and sides of 2 1/2-quart souffle dish with 2 teaspoons butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Finely chop tomatoes, drain thoroughly and reserve.
Saute green pepper in 1/3 cup butter in skillet 2 minutes. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until it comes to full boil. Cook and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Remove from heat.
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Slowly add white sauce to yolks, small amount at a time, stirring constantly.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually fold yolk-sauce mixture into beaten whites and fold in reserved drained tomatoes. Carefully turn into prepared souffle dish and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.
Bake at 325 degrees until set, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve immediately.
6 servings. Each serving:
162 calories; 430 mg sodium; 221 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 0.54 gram fiber.
Cote d'Azure "Zodax" dinnerware from Stephen Young Showroom, L.A. Mart, Los Angeles.
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