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Monday, May 23, 2016

Southwestern Creamy/Chunky Spicy Veggie Soup

I had soup similar to this at Panera a while back during one of winters. Now they don't have it on their menu anymore. I always wanted to make similar soup.  I had some chopped veggies, cream cheese and sour cream left over from the crescent roll pizza that I made earlier so I decided to make this soup.

Ingredients:
* 1 yellow onion
* 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese (softened)
* 1/2 c. sour cream
* 2 cloves of garlic
* ¼ cup pickled Jalapenos (optional)
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 tablespoon AP flour
* 2 cups milk
* 1/2  cup any salsa con queso medium
* 1 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese
* 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Veggies:
* 1 small bell pepper chopped
* 1 small Yellow bell pepper chopped
* 1-2 Tomatoes chopped
* 1 cup florets finely chopped
* 1-2 fresh Jalapeno chopped
* 1 bunch Green onions chopped
* 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
* 2 long carrots Shredded carrots
* 1 avocado (firm not mushy)chopped
* One small can  of corn kernel: any kind, white, yellow or I used can  of Chipotle yellow corn kernel  
* 4-5 mushrooms chopped
* 1-2 fresh Serrano pepper of fresh jalapenos
* 1-2 garlic cloves
* 2 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
* 1 teaspoon any salsa seasoning
* 1 cup of water
* 1/2 teaspoon of salt (don't add too much as all the cheeses and salsa con queso are quite salty) you can always add more salt later if needed.
Method:
  • Chop yellow onion separately and set aside.
  • Chop all veggies finely or to desired chunkiness.
  • Mix sour cream, softened cream cheese, chopped garlic, chopped pickled Jalapenos and pepper jack cheese, set aside.

  • Mix one cup of cold milk with AP flour until all the lumps are gone.
  • Heat butter in a sauce pan.
  • Gradually add the milk and AP flour milk and cook it on low heat until thickens with no lumps.


  • Heat olive oil in pan
  • When hot,  add salsa seasoning, white pepper and chopped yellow onions.
  • Saute until onions are translucent.
  • Add chopped garlic saute for 1 more min.
  • Add chopped veggies and cook for 2 min.

  • Add salt and white sauce.
  • Mix well.
  • Add one cup of milk and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Cook for 2 min, stirring in between.
  • Add cream cheese,  sour cream,  pepper jack and pickled jalapeno mix.

  • Add one cup of water and cook on medium low heat until all  the cheese is melted.
  • Lastly add salsa con queso and cook for 1-2 more minutes stirring in between.
  • Serve hot with sour dough bread.





Enjoy !!

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cool Veggie Crescent Roll Pizza with Cream Cheese: A Perfect Summer Treat

This is a great appetizer dish and can be a snack or light lunch dish.  It is a great cool and healthy appetizer for summer parties.  To serve for a party I make the crispy crust, and slice it ahead of time and store it in airtight container. Then make the spread and topping on the day of party and prepare and serve them as needed. You can use any ready made pizza crust that can be baked to a crunchy texture (not soft) or you can use naan or crescent roll crust which is what I used this time.This recipe yields 16 triangle slices of pizza, (size as shown in pics) you can cut them in to small square or slices to serve as appetizers.
Best thing is you can use any fresh veggies that you like. Main ones that are must for vibrant colors are broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, red and yellow peppers.
This time I also used avocado, and mushrooms. You can use pomegranate seeds for more color.
I had some left over veggies and some cream cheese topping,  Which I used to create my Southwestern Veggies Creamy Soup (recipe to follow)
 
Ingredients:
2 crescent roll pkgs
2 (8 oz.) cream cheese (softened)
½ c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. sour cream
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup pickled Jalapenos (optional)
1-2 fresh Serrano pepper of fresh jalapenos
1 yellow onion
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
One cup of Greek Jalapeno dip (mild) (optional)

Veggies:
1 small seedless  cucumbers chopped
1 Red bell pepper chopped
1 Yellow bell pepper chopped
1-2 Tomatoes chopped
1 small Broccoli florets finely chopped
1 bunch Green onions chopped
1 bunch Cilantro divided in two halves
2-3 fresh Jalapeno chopped (if want it spicy)
4 long carrots Shredded carrots
1 avocado (firm not mushy)chopped
One small can of corn kernel: any kind, white, yellow or I used can  of Chipotle yellow corn kernel  
8 mushrooms chopped
Juice from one fresh lime
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese or Pepper jack cheese
1 cup Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese




  • In a food processor finely chop one yellow onion, fresh Jalapenos or Serrano peppers, pickled Jalapeno, garlic cloves and 1/2 bunch of cilantro.
  • Mix 2 packages of softened cream cheese,  sour cream, Greek dip and the mayonnaise.  
  • Mix well.
  • Fold it half of 1/4 cup of each shredded cheese. 
  • Store in the refrigerator






  • Shred the carrots and chop all the veggies.
  • Mix them together with corn and chopped cilantro.
  • Toss corn kernel with chopped veggies and lime juice.

  • To prepare cold pizza slices spread the cream cheese spread on each baked slice.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheddar or Pepper jack cheese and or Mozzarella  cheese and top with chopped veggies.
  • Serve immediately, you may refrigerate in the fridge but for not very long (not more than 1/2 hour) to avoid it from being soggy.
  • This is why I bake any crust little crispy and serve as needed.
  • Serve cold. Enjoy!



Hint:  As I mentioned earlier,  I bake the crescent roll cut in to triangles and bake them a little crispy. I store them in an airtight box. I keep the cheese spread and chopped veggies mix separately in the fridge, and make them just when I am ready to serve. This gives a little crispy taste to the crust vs. being soggy in the fridge. You can try it either way.

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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