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Emerald Soup

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*Updated 1/16/13: since I’m no longer in touch with the lady that gave me this recipe, I can be totally honest and tell you this was awful and please don’t make it! LOL!  I blogged this on MySpace before I cared about the quality of recipes I shared (for the record, I only blog the best ones now) and transferred it here when I started my blog. I can’t bear to delete it so I just want to warn you that you shouldn’t make it!*

With both Thanksgiving dinners (we have one for each side of our family) and all the leftovers out of the way, I’m a little tired of heavy foods and was craving something light and healthy.  Since Dennis is out of town for the week, I can cook whatever I want (“whee” for that but “boo” to him being gone) and I immediately thought of this soup, whose title and ingredients had caught my attention when my friend, Rhonda, first posted it on her MySpace blog.

It is creamy & flavorful and I love the delightful color.  And the best part is that it’s so healthy that I felt totally justified in pairing it with a light & airy sweet dinner roll (or three)….slathered with butter. :)

Emerald Soup

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP. butter
1 TBSP. olive oil
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth*
2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves or half of a 10 oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 medium potatoes. peeled and chopped (2 cups)
2 cups broccoli florets or one 10 oz. pkg. frozen cut broccoli, thawed and well-drained
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp. dry mustard
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 & 1/2 cups milk (I used 3/4 cup)

*Chicken broth will work but I stuck with vegetable to keep this dish vegetarian.

In a saucepan, cook onion and garlic in hot butter and olive oil over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, spinach, potatoes, broccoli, oregano, mustard, salt, nutmeg and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Use an immersion blender to blend the soup, or transfer it to a blender  or food-processor bowl.  Cover; blend or process until smooth. (Warning: leave the middle part out of the blender so steam can escape, otherwise the lid will explode off once you start blending and boiling hot soup will go everywhere!) Return to pan. Stir in milk. Heat through. Serve with croutons, if desired.

Makes 4 side dish servings (or you could double up to make it a meal in itself).

Recipe courtesy of Rhonda C.

Sunny Vegetable Salad

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This is the type of dish I never make for my own family but always bring to (or find at) a potluck and can never get enough of.  I brought it to a Church potluck last weekend only to find that Teri, our preacher’s wife, brought the same exact thing! Great minds think alike. :)

Sunny Vegetable Salad
Recipe from Char Holm, Taste of Home Magazine
“A terrific mixture of crisp, chewy, fresh and sweet ingredients makes this salad taste as good as it looks. A nutritious vegetable like broccoli is a lot more palatable ‘dressed up’ this way. -Char Holm, Goodhue, Minnesota”


5 cups broccoli florets
5 cups cauliflowerets
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup sunflower kernels

In a large salad bowl, toss broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Sprinkle with the bacon and sunflower seeds before serving.

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