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Dinner Tonight! | The Lighter Side

The Illusion of a Cream

December 12, 2001|DONNA DEANE | TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR

I enjoy the flavor of creamed soups but shy away from them because I know that they mean lots of fat and butter.

But Creamy Broccoli and Wild Rice soup is a good first course for a holiday menu when you want to keep things light. I used just two tablespoons of butter to saute the onion, which adds a little flavor. The base is made of chicken broth and nonfat half-and-half, so there's creaminess without fat.

Broccoli heads, commonly found in most supermarkets, take only a few minutes to cook after they're finely chopped. The dish is finished with lemon juice and sage for added flavor.

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Creamy Broccoli and Wild Rice Soup

Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

1/2 cup wild rice

4 1/2 cups nonfat chicken broth, divided

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 heads broccoli (about 1/2 pound)

2 cups nonfat half-and-half

6 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

Salt

Combine the wild rice and 2 cups of the chicken broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil gently 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand on the burner, covered, for 30 minutes.

Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat until melted. Add the onion and cook until tender, but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Trim the dried ends from the broccoli stems. Chop the broccoli and stems into 1/2-inch pieces. Add them to the pan with the onion along with 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the half-and-half. Bring to a simmer. Blend together the flour and the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth until smooth, then whisk into the hot soup. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring constantly, and continue boiling until it thickens, about 1 minute. Drain the cooked rice and stir into the soup along with the lemon juice and minced sage. Add salt to taste.

6 servings. Each serving: 183 calories; 1,575 mg sodium; 10 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 1.89 grams fiber.

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