Almost Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

I love my morning time –  blogging, reading blogs, putting my food together for the day.  It’s just me, sometimes the dog will join me from the bedroom.  Yesterday I would have had my usual morning coffee.  I was out, but asked Hannah to pick some up on her way home.  Unfortunately, it was decaf – such a waste!  (thanks anyway Han!).

Sometimes these mornings get away from me – I usually have between an hour and a half to two hours before I have to leave my house for work.  All of a sudden I realized I needed to get dressed and out the door in ten minutes! Luckily for me (unlucky for my husband and co-workers!) and am low maintenance, a two minute shower, hair pulled back in pony tail, pants, shirt (remembered to put a bra on!) and I was out the door.

But wait – I have a new morning ritual.  Longtime readers will know I hardly ever wear makeup.  I usually work out at lunch, so I figure, why bother?  But I have fallen in love this this product:  *update:  you can find this at any drug store – I bought this at CVS for $9.99 – but a little goes a long way!

You only need about the size of a pea for your whole face, but the best part is that it doesn’t look or feel like you have foundation on.  Hannah and I looked at it up close, and it has like these tiny beads in it – I have brown patches on my high cheek bones (I am in my 40’s people!), and some areas of my skin that are on the red side.  This stuff evens my face out.

Okay, here is a picture of me, no make-up and BEFORE I got my eyebrows threaded (or what I like to say – before the caterpillars were plucked!).  Notice the blotchiness of my skin?

this picture was taken a week and a half ago

Here is a picture I took after I got home from work last night before the sun went down.  I cannot tell you how nervous I was about dropping my camera!  Isn’t that a big difference?

Okay, my makeup lesson is done!  Thanks for tuning in – ha! 😀  Can you ever leave the house without makeup?  My twin sister never does!

As I was putting my stuff together I realized that I never put my breakfast together – but I actually had time to stop at the store and pick up a Jimmy Dean’s turkey sausage bowl – 6 Points.

And I have declared Wednesday Bagel Day!  Thanks for the idea Lori – wow, two shout outs in back to back posts 😀  I love that Lori enjoys her bagels so much on Wednesdays!

Favorite all-time favorite bagel:  jalapeno cheese bagel.  The one I get is 8 points for the whole thing – so I have half for breakfast and half for lunch.  So my breakfast total is 10 points all together.

The first recipe to catch my eye out of America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook was Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup.  Although, because this weeks BSI is Buttermilk (check out Renee’s BSI page for this weeks contest!) I did add 1/2 a cup of buttermilk to this because it didn’t change the points value.

I did tweak it a bit (I know your thinking, why the hell is she tweaking an America’s Test Kitchen recipe?!) but you’ll see my changes below:

Almost Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup  (my submission to BSI – Buttermilk!)

  • adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook
  • This soup made 9 cups, so 4, 2 1/4 cups servings = only three points plus!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling – I only used 1/8 cup total
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about one cup) Nope!
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes – I used 1/2 teaspoon (this was almost too spicy for one of my co-workers – so start small!)
  • 1 bay leaf – Nope!
  • 2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes, packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar – I reduced to 1 teaspoon
  • 3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces – I had no idea how much bread this was, so I just tore up 2 ounces of a french bagette I had in the pantry)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth – I used 2 cups regular broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (optional) – I left this out cause I didn’t have any
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (BSI secret ingredient this week!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives – I did this for my co-workers!!

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onion (because I know the rest of you will add it!), garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes in their juice.  Stir in sugar and bread and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce to medium low heat, and simmer until the bread starts to break down, about 5 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf if using.

Using a stick blender, puree soup.  Stir in chicken broth, brandy if using and salt and pepper to taste – since I used regular chicken broth, I only needed a pinch of extra salt.  Sprinkle with chives if you like and another drizzle of olive oil.

look at how much soup you get?!

And the sammie?  Heaven.  Second half of my jalapeno bagel (4 points) 3/4 ounce mozzarella cheese (2 points), baby spinach and cranberry horseradish sauce my co-worker brought into work – 1 tablespoon was 25 calories, I used a teaspoon, so I am considering that zero points – 6 point grilled cheese – yum!  9 Points for the whole plate! 😀  I loved the slight sweetness from the cranberry sauce mixed with the spicy horseradish and salty cheese.

I love the crispy cheese edges on the bagel

Luckily my friend and I walked for 50 minutes at lunch so that I could work off March birthday cake celebrations at my office.  I normally don’t eat cake, except for the month of Wmy birthday! 😀  My guess is 3 points for this piece:

When I saw Jenn’s blog post yesterday, she reminded me that I had quinoa pasta in my pantry that I haven’t used in months.   On the box it says in big letters – “don’t overcook!”  It went from still crunchy to perfect in 30 seconds so you really have to keep an eye on it.

I also found this sausage at my local store – holy cow was this flavorful – and cheap!

My plate: 2 ounces dry pasta (cooked), 2 ounces cooked sausage, baby spinach and a dollop of fat free ricotta cheese.  12 Points Plus.

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 40 points plus, including the birthday cake and wine after dinner
  • 29 flex points left for the week
  • 22 activity points earned
  • 108 average blood sugar

I’ve talked about cooking for two of my co-workers who are also on Weight Watchers.  They totally surprised me yesterday with a thank you card and gift for helping them stay on program – check out what they got me!

just another tool to make me an athlete again! 😀

Thanks K & R!  That was so nice of you guys!  Have a great Thursday!