Tag Archives: half-and-half

Creamy Tomato Soup

Now that the weather is finally cooling down a little bit here I am starting to think of soups more. Yes, even in sunny and warm south Florida our winter’s get cooler and soup is a welcome meal. Now, I was never a big fan of tomato soup but my husband likes it but I am willing to give it a try. This recipe sounds very  good and is pretty easy to make. It makes 10 cups and serves 6. If you want to freeze it for later or make a double batch freeze it before you add the half-and-half. Just add it when you defrost it to use again. When you reheat the soup don’t let it boil either or the half-and-half will curdle. I love sweet things so this soup is great for me. But if you don’t want it too sweet just reduce the sugar in it. This soup is great with a nice crusty loaf of bread or crackers. Make it a delicious meal for dinner or lunch. Top it off with some parmesan cheese also if you like, you know we will! You can also cut the garlic in half as well if you don’t like too much garlic. I of course added more than the recipe originally called for.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only!

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)

Pinch of ground cloves

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

2 (28- ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup half-and-half (you can also use fat-free to save some calories)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and bay leaf and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cloves. Stir until vegetables are well coated.

2. Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth. You may have to do it in batches until it’s all blended.

4. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly pour in half-and-half, stirring constantly. Serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve. Remember not to let the soup boil when reheating or the cream will curdle!

Enjoy!
Makes 10 cups: Serves 6.

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She-Crab Soup

Keeping with the Charleston recipes today’s is She-Crab Soup. I have had this soup here in Florida and it was delicious. So creamy and rich and just plain scrumptious! It is not a low-calorie soup but you can lighten it up a bit by substituting some ingredients with their lighter counterparts. But for now I’m leaving the recipe as is. I won’t put in the calories I found on this either. No need. We know it’s high and we’ll leave it at that. Now what is a “she-crab” and why is it in a soup?

The soup is a regional specialty from the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is considered to be the signature dish of Charleston, SC and is featured on the menus of many of the city’s restaurants.

The soup is named for the “She-Crab”, or female crab, originally a gravid crab, heavy with the flavorful orange crab roe that is typically a main ingredient in traditional she-crab soup. You can leave the roe out of this recipe if you wish, nobody will know! I definitely plan on having this while on our little visit and I will be making a lighter version of my own when I get home. I looked through many recipes and formed my own version for this recipe.

If you want to learn a little more on the history of  She-Crab Soup, just click on the link for more information and another version of the recipe. I will add my substitutions after some ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

5 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 small sweet onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts half-and-half (or fat-free half-and-half)

1 pint heavy cream (or light cream)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth (fat-free)

1 pound lump crabmeat

3 tablespoons crab roe (optional)

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (my husband would want more I am sure!)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh dill (2 tsp. dried)

2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

½ cup sherry wine

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot/dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste (a roux) and cook for about 3 minutes, making sure you stir constantly! Stir in the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring for about 4 more minutes.

2. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half making sure no lumps form. Stir in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring this to a simmer and pour in half of the sherry. Add the dill, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the soup has reduced by a third. Add the crabmeat (and roe if you decide to use it), stir carefully. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Serve the soup and top each bowl off with a splash of the rest of the sherry and a sprinkle of the scallions!

Serves 8 (cut the recipe in half if this will be too much for your family)


Blueberry Pancakes

Every so often we get that craving for pancakes on the weekend. But trying to watch the carb and calorie intake makes it tough. This recipe only has 4 grams of carbs per serving! No joke. And they are actually very good! I know many of us have tried the “Atkins” pancake mix, or other low-calorie low carb mix over the years and they were all just a little on the bland side. Not this recipe, which I got from “George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb” book. I actually use this cookbook quite a lot. This coming from a true carb hound. The recipes are great! This recipe I actually had all the ingredients so we tried them out. It actually calls for heavy cream and I didn’t have any so we used half-and-half instead and it was great. The other minor ingredient I actually did not have on hand was baking powder! So I found my ‘substitution’ chart and made my own! Just combine ½ teaspoon cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Voila, baking powder. And since I only needed ¼ teaspoon of baking powder it was perfect. Also, usually we have the sugar-free syrup in the house for the pancakes and waffles we sometimes have, but this time we used the amber agave nectar!

Delicious and so much better for you! We also have the light one as well. Found it cheap at Marshall’s! Go figure!

INGREDIENTS:

Cooking spray or butter (for pan)

2 large eggs

½ cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half and it was fine)

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup soy flour

2 tablespoons sugar substitute (Splenda recommended)

1 tablespoon wheat or oat bran (I used wheat)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup fresh or frozen(thawed) blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray or butter and heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. The griddle should be very hot so that the pancakes don’t stick.

2. Mix all the ingredients except for the blueberries in a blender or food processor for about 15 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides and mix for another 15 seconds until well blended.

3. Pour about 12 little cakes onto the hot griddle (they should be about the size of the bottom of a soda can). Wait for the pancakes to bubble and then sprinkle with a few blueberries on each of them. Cook for a little longer, then flip with a spatula and cook for a few more minutes, until both sides are slightly browned. Serve hot with melted butter and syrup of your choice! You may have to do this in a couple batches.

Makes about 12 small pancakes. You can use other berries also just make sure you cut them up small enough to about the size of the blueberries.

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