Cream of Potato & Pear Soup

As my season for warm and comforting soups wraps up, I thought I would cook up one more delish bisque. 
Cream of Potato & Pear Soup
adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
1 C low sodium chicken broth (I use Watkins powder)
1 lb organic potatoes (redskin is preferred), chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 T dried rosemary
1 T dried sage
1 lb ripe Bosc pears, cored and chopped
1 lb greens (organic spinach, organic kale, or Swiss chard, etc), finely chopped
1 15oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint low-fat milk
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
2 oz shaved Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
In large soup pot, bring broth and 1 C water to a boil. Add potatoes, onion, rosemary, and age.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in pears and immediately remove from heat.  With an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth.  (you can use a blender as well, just need to let the soup cool and then blend in batches.)  Return pot to stove and heat on medium-low.  Stir in greens and bring to a gentle simmer.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and stir in beans.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until heated through.  Remove from heat and divide into bowls.  Garnish with carrot, Parmesan, and pepper. 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Holiday Celebrations and Cuisine

For Christmas Eve I prepared this salad and dressing. It brought cheer to everyone’s taste buds.
Spinach and Red Pear Salad
with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Organic baby spinach
1/4 sliced red onion
sprinkle 0f blueberries (optional)
1 red pear, sliced into pieces
toasted walnuts
blue cheese
1/2 C pomegranate juice
3 T sugar, could try honey
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T canola oil
1 tsp grated orange rind
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk/shake together until blended.
calories for 3 T serving of dressing: 96grams

Quinoa, Couscous and Cranberries (recipe another day)

Mom made these feta, tomato, and cucumber kabobs for NYE. So light and delish!
Just soak the tomatoes and cucumber in a little olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and viola…a super easy appetizer!
Dad splurged and surprised Mom with an edible arrangement….I loved the chocolate covered granny smith apples!
Christmas at the Schwertfeger’s
the kids sharing the Christmas story before presents, so we can all remember what it is truly about

Anna sporting her Hawkeye jersey, complete with shoulder pads
Christmas at the Boisen’s
Emmerson, Peyton, and their cousin Isla (far left)

Peyton passing out the presents

Emmerson scored on the ISU gear!

and Ironman/triathlon swag!

Peyton shows off her gifts….

and other people’s gifts

Some attire from myself and Baby S.
Two things that I hold dear to my heart….veggies and the Cyclones!
NYE at the Schwertfeger’s
with the Boisens and the Browns
fun games, good food, great company
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Celery & Pear Bisque

You know how I get about soups this time of year….I just can’t get enough. So here is another scrumptious soup to add to your recipe rolodex.

Let’s get to know the pear a bit so we can appreciate the health benefits it is providing us as we slurp down this soup.
Protection from Free Radicals
Pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper. Both of these nutrients can be thought of as antioxidant nutrients that help protect cells in the body from oxygen-related damage due to free radicals. Vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, directly kills many bacteria and viruses.
Pears Promote Cardiovascular and Colon Health
Pear’s fiber does a lot more than help prevent constipation and ensure regularity. Fiber has been shown in a number of studies to lower high cholesterol levels, good news to people at risk for atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Fiber also binds to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, preventing them from damaging colon cells. This may be one reason why diets high in fiber-rich foods, such as pears, are associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Celery & Pear Bisque
from Bon Apetite
Prep: 30 min, total: 50 min
6 servings, calories 178
4 1/2 T butter (I used Land o Lake tub butter)
6 C thinly sliced celery with leaves – celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops so choose organic if it can be found.
18 oz unpeeled ripe Bartlett pears, cored, diced (generous 3 cups) plus 1/2 C finely diced for garnish – again these are on the dirty dozen so choose organic
1 1/2 C chopped dark green leek tops
reserve one leek stalk (white part) and chop into soup
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 T whole wheat flour
3 C or more of Watkins chicken broth
Melt butter in pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced celery, generous 3 cups diced pears, leak tops and one chopped stalk, bay leaves, and thyme. Cover; cook until celery softens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Toss in flour. Stir in 3 cups broth; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until celery is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves from soup. Puree soup with hand blender or in batches with blender. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Thin with more broth if desired although mine was perfect. Rewarm before serving. Garnish with diced pears and any reserved celery leaves.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good