Have you ever been to a restaurant and realized that you really want 3 different things on the menu? It happens to me all the time. It's handy that my husband is often willing to share with me. But, that still excludes one thing. On Sunday, we went to Panera for lunch after church. I got half a salad and half a sandwich, but I really wanted some broccoli cheddar soup. So, I decided to come home and see if I could find a recipe in one of my cookbooks or on the internet. None of my cookbooks had a recipe for broccoli cheddar soup, but the internet did.
I found this recipe: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/1833/Panera-Bread-Broccoli-Cheese-S79119.shtml
Of course, I made an alteration. When I printed off the recipe, I didn't realize that it called for 2 cups of half and half. 2 CUPS! So, I pulled out The Substitution Bible by David Joachin and looked for a healthier alternative. Here's what I ended up doing (I used and then modified one of his substitutions):
2 cups half and half = 1/2 cup half and half PLUS 1 1/2 cups lowfat milk PLUS 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
Calories: 2 c. half and half = 640 calories
My substitution = 160 + 195 + 150 = 505
If I'd taken all of the half and half out, and substituted 2 cups milk + 2 Tbsp. butter = 460 calories
Cost: It's not a huge calorie savings, but there's also a cost savings. $1-$2 for 2 cups of half and half or 50 cents for my substitution.
At the end of the day, what really matters most is whether the soup tasted good. And it did. I will definitely make it again, although I will serve a little grated cheddar on the side for everyone to add per their liking.