Cream of Cilantro Soup

Cream of Cilantro Soup

cream of cilantro soupFrom April 3, 2005:  my arteries started clogging just reading this recipe…so i tweaked the recipe quite a bit to lower the (saturated) fat content.  we enjoyed the version i came up with.  the changes i made are noted below the recipe. i served the soup alongside spinach and portabella mushroom quesadillas and fresh salsa (1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, 1/2 medium onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 serrano chiles, a handful of cilantro, juice from 1/2 a lime, salt and cumin to taste.  blend ingredients in blender or food processor). i didn’t make the black bean salsa to go with the soup, so i can’t vouch for that.    my recipe notes are below the recipe.

Cream Of Cilantro Soup W/Black Bean Salsa
Yield: 10 Servings

1/2 c butter or margarine
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro; divided
1 medium onion; chopped
2 stalks celery; chopped
1 1/2 ts ground cumin
2 cloves garlic; minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded; finely chopped
1 shallot; chopped
1/2 c flour
4 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 c whipping cream
4 oz Monterey jack cheese; shredded

BLACK BEAN SALSA:
1 16 oz can black beans; rinsed & drained
1 lg tomato; seeded & chopped
1/2 c chopped purple onion
4 green onions; chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, onion, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes or until tender.  Stir in flour and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly about 7 minutes or until mixture is golden brown. Add vegetable broth, stirring rapidly until blended; add bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in pepper and whipping cream and cook 5 minutes.  Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding vegetables. Add shredded cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro.  Pour soup into individual serving bowls. Spoon Black Bean Salsa in center of each bowl.

To prepare Black Bean Salsa: Combine black beans, tomato, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Makes 2 1/2 cups.
my recipe notes:

* i only used 1/4 cup of butter instead of 1/2 cup.
* i used 1 cup of half and half instead of 2 cups of cream.
* i eliminated the cheese from the recipe.  i grated some cheese to put on the table so we could add cheese if we wanted, but forgot to put it out….the soup really didn’t need it, imo.
* after adding the flour, i cooked the mixture for only a few minutes (the flour was burning at the bottom of the pan) instead of browning it for 7 minutes, as the recipe states.
* instead of straining the mixture, i used the hand blender to puree the veggies into the soup.  this added more flavor (to replace the flavor from all the fat i removed) and thickened the soup a bit.
* the soup came out a little on the thin side, i’ll probably use a little less vegetable broth next time i make it.

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