On the search for tasty soft diet options! Carrot Soup with Orange and Tarragon

Since discovering that a family member needs soft foods for her diet, I am on a quest for nutritious and tasty options.

I always like to have a bag of carrots on hand to make my own soups and stew. Carrot soup blenderized is what was prepared this Saturday morning by my husband.

The following recipe is courtesy of “In my Kitchen”.

Carrot Soup with Orange and Tarragon
Yield: 4 servings

1 TBSP butter
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 cup juice from freshly squeezed oranges
1 TBSP brandy (optional)
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
salt and pepper
fresh tarragon sprigs for garnish

1. Melt butter in heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the carrots and saute until onion is soft, 6-8 minutes. Add broth; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, uncover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Puree soup smooth with an immersion blender or, working in batches, in your blender or food processor.

3. In pot, stir in orange juice, brandy and chopped tarragon. Simmer for 5 minutes more to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with tarragon sprigs.

Orzo pasta

I’m looking at nutrition content as well as ease of eating. Orzo can be stirred into soups or added to grilled vegetables.

Orzo is made of Semolina wheat. Because this pasta shape is so small, orzo dishes can be quite dense, as the pasta will compact into a solid mass, rather than having lots of air, as is the case with bigger pasta shapes. “This is why the pasta is primarily used in soups or with soupy sauces, since plated orzo and orzo casseroles are very intense. Some people like to use orzo like rice in pilafs, deliberately aiming for a very rich, dense dish.”

Nutrition Facts :

Serving size : 2 ounces dry

Calories 210

Protein 7 grams

Total carbs 42

Cholesterol 0 Sodium 0

Fat 1 gram

Iron 10 %

Thiamine 30 %

Niacin 15 %

Ribiflavin 15 %

Folic Acid 25 %

Eat a serving of orzo, and you consume 7 g of protein. This accounts for 12.5 to 15.2 percent of the recommended daily amount.

Increase your protein consumption by eating whole-grain orzo or pairing it with seafood, such as salmon, shrimp or clams, or some other meat. The protein in orzo also helps boost your energy levels.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/398174-about-orzo-pasta-nutrition/#ixzz1lQk07Zvr

Couscous

Both couscous and white rice contain small quantities of certain essential minerals. Couscous contains significantly more selenium, potassium and calcium than white rice.

Couscous is commonly prepared with herbs, oils and spices mixed in, which changes its nutritional profile significantly. Couscous is often prepared with tomatoes, oil, lemon juice and parsley to make the traditional chilled salad known as tabouleh. White rice is extremely bland without additional spices or seasoning. When soy sauce, for example, is added to white rice, the sodium content increases dramatically
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/532689-nutritional-difference-between-couscous-white-rice/#ixzz1lQmsrsZN

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Tales from a D.C. School Kitchen: Part Five

Tales from a D.C. School Kitchen: Part Five

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please click on the link ( using your computer mouse, or enter/ return key on keypad.)

I thought it was a relevant school issue to post here on my blog for future reading.

The future of tomorrow relies on today’s children raised in a healthy environment.

Recipe-Lentil Soup , a source of folate

Preparing carrots with my vegetable peeler
Preparing carrots with my vegetable peeler

What a wonderful day, full of sunshine.

This morning I was reading in Body and Soul magazine, September issue.  I continuosly like to learn about new ways to keep one’s health and immunity level high.

How To Fight Fall Allergies:

A new study from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that” B vitamins may help keep allergic reactions in check and ease the severity of symptoms”.

Researchers found that higher levels of folate had fewer allergy symptoms and a lower risk of asthma and wheezing.

Good Sources of Folate:

Broccoli, Asparagus, oranges, kidney beans, collard greens, black-eyed peas, spinach, avocado, and lentils.

 

Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Canola oil or Olive oil

3 carrots,  cleaned and diced or sliced in coin sizes

2 stalks celery, sliced or diced ( I like chunky soup so I slice.)

1  14 1/2  ounce  can diced tomatoes ( unsalted or salted depends on preference)

3/4 cups dry lentils ( soaked, rinsed and drained)

1 Quart of vegetable stock or chicken broth

4-6   cups of  water ( depends if want thick or thin soup)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste

1/2 teaspoon paprika

 

Directions: 

1.  In large stockpot, saute carrots and celery for 10 minutes.

2. Add vegetable stock (I used Organic from my local grocery store (or Chicken broth) , lentils, salt and pepper.

Let mixture come to a boil, cook for 30 minutes, covered until lentils soften and vegetables are fork tender.  Then reduce to simmer and cook, simmering for additional 30 mi utes

3.  Add can of diced tomatoes,some of the water, (depends on how thick or thin you want the soup ) paprika., for second 30 minutes of cook 

4.  Sprinkle  with parsley or Parmesean cheese to garnish before serving or instead can add a liitle bit of fresh lemon juice.

Addendum December26, 2011

I have been preparing this Lentil soup for some time now.

You can add the herbs of your choice to spice up the flavor of this soup; substitute Cumin, 1 tea-spoon and curry powder 1 teaspoon and omit the Paprika.

Recipe-Easy Carrot Soup

Easy Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced ( about 4 cups)

2 medium onions, minced ( about 3/4 cup)

4 Tablespoons butter or margarine

8 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup raw rice ( not instant)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup light cream

Directions:

Saute’ carrots and onions in butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add all other ingredients except cream.

Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Cool in the refrigerator and skim off any fat from the top. 

Pure’e in batches in a blender or food processor.

Just before serving add cream.

Delicious hot or cold.

Make Ahead:

May be made a day early and refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container before adding cream.

Variation:

For a country texture and fewer calories, omit the cream and do not pure’e.

Recipe from:

The Clock Watchers Cookbook

by Judy Duncan and Allison Mc Cance

c 1983

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