Apple and Pear Soup

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 7

1 tbsp reduced-fat margarine
3 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, pureed
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Melt the margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the apples and pears in the melted margarine for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, sage, pepper, and bay leaf to the pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Place a cover on the saucepan and allow the mixture to simmer until hot and the apples and pears are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour about 1/3 of the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold the lid of the blender in place with a towel and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth; pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the saucepan. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and warm over medium heat until completely reheated. Garnish with parsley to serve.

Cool Beans Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Cool Beans Salad

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min
YIELD: 6 servings

3 cups basmati rice, cooked
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 green onions, sliced
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients; pour over salad and toss to coat. Chill until serving.

Finnish Berry Dessert

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
YIELD:8 servings

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1 cup unsweetened raspberries
3 tbsps sugar, divided
2 tbsps cornstarch
1 1/2 cups apple-raspberry juice cocktail
Lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt, optional

  1. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine fruit and 2 tablespoons sugar. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool for 10 minutes. Pour over fruit; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in individual dessert dishes; top with frozen yogurt if desired.
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