I didn’t set out to make this beautiful cheese soup. It just kind of happened.
I had a lovely small piece of steak thawing, and I thought about making beef stroganoff. I love everything about beef stroganoff, from the tender seared beef to the sweet sauce with a touch of sherry and cream. With perfectly browned mushrooms added to the mix, this recipe has been one of my staples for years.
Sounds fabulous, right?
But there’s a catch. We’ve been trying to do meat on the side and include lots of veggies on our plates. We’re not eating much white food either, and our list of no white food such as potatoes, bread, and rice includes the obvious noodles that would complement the beef stroganoff. Even if they’re whole wheat, they are still a healthy dose of carbohydrates that we are trying to avoid in our diets.
What is meat on the side?
If you are watching Food Network Star, you know that bright and bubbly Nikki Dinki was eliminated. I’m sad to see her go, but at least I have the consolation of being able to follow her lovely blog, Nikki Dinki Cooking. Her prospective show for Food Network would have focused on using meat as a side dish rather than as the main dish, and her recipes are creative and yummy. When I ran across her recipe for Cheddar Cauliflower + Squash Soup, I knew I had a winner for our meal.
Of course, I had to remix the recipe. To contrast with the beef, I wanted a lighter cheese, so I bought Trader Joe’s mix of Swiss and Gruyere. TJ’s didn’t have the cut-up squash that they sometimes carry, so I grabbed a bag of mixed broccoli and cauliflower. With a box of baby bella mushrooms to saute and serve with the beef, we were all set to go. At the last minute I realized that the milder Swiss cheese would need sherry and nutmeg rather than the spicy mix in Nikki’s soup, so I also grabbed a bottle of dry sherry and practically ran to the checkout.
Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”
Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)