Recipes @ Soup for Supper

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Soup for Supper

Enjoy a light-tasting Jamaican Winter Squash Soup with Salad for a family dinner at home.

After the lavish holiday dinners we've feasted on for Christmas and New Year's celebrations, we may be ready for a simple and light supper. The recipes below make a great healthy and light soup-and-salad supper that's great for a family dinner and for casual gatherings with friends.

Jamaican Winter Squash Soup

Serves 6

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 6 medium scallions, trimmed
  • 6 whole sprigs thyme
  • 1 medium winter squash (about 2 pounds), such as butternut, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (4 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1/2 small Scotch-bonnet chile pepper
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Mint or basil sprigs, for garnish (optional)

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, cook the onion in the butter until tender but not brown. Tie the scallions and thyme together with a piece of kitchen twine. Place the squash, broth, chile pepper and scallion bundle in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until the squash is extremely tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the scallion bundle and chile pepper; discard. Transfer the soup to a blender container and puree until smooth. For a very silky soup, pass through a sieve. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan; add the milk, salt and pepper, to taste. Heat through. Serve topped with mint or basil sprigs, if desired.
Salad Greens with Cheese Croutons

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated aged white cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 1 recipe Maple Vinaigrette (recipe below)

  1. In a small bowl, toss together the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle the cheese mixture in the bottom of a heavy, nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and become bubbly over the entire surface. (You may need to reduce the heat, if necessary, to prevent the cheese from overbrowning.)
  2. Tip the skillet to allow excess oil from the cheese to collect in one place in the skillet and remove with a spoon. Carefully lift the "crouton" from the pan with an offset spatula and place on a piece of paper towel to drain; cool. When cooled, crumble the crouton into pieces.
  3. To serve the salad, coat a large salad bowl with some of the Maple Vinaigrette. Add the greens and crouton pieces. Toss to coat. Add additional dressing, if desired.
Maple Vinaigrette

Makes about 1/3 cup vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Cover the jar and shake vigorously.

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