Surrounded by bubbling pots, steaming up the kitchen windows, I feel a little like the magicians apprentice as I try out every soup in the book (s), not entirely sure what the outcome is going to be.
I am so on a roll with soup this winter. Soup is the perfect winter lunch at home or at work. My focus is on (largely) vegetarian soups because it seems like a great way to make sure I’m getting lots of veggies in my diet and it’s one of the tastiest and easiest ways I know to treat winter vegetables. Regular readers would have picked up that I made quite a few soups in recent posts and here are two more. I think I’ve outdone myself for colour variation and vibrancy this week!
The first was a quickie recipe from the Donna Hay Winter issue – Creamy Broccoli. Very tasty and thicker than you might expect from using just broccoli. I may have used more broccoli than was intended – I used 600g although the recipe didn’t specify and I stuck to the amount of stock even though it was pretty shallow in the pan. By putting on a lid while it cooked the broccoli essentially steamed in the stock. This meant the result was a good thick soup. I would have added the cream that the recipe suggested but I didn’t want to buy a carton of cream to just use half a cup. Instead I added a generous blob of full fat natural yogurt to each bowl on serving and it worked very well (no lingering sour taste from the yoghurt and it served to smooth out and add a richness to the soup). Great flavour and texture.
The second I gleaned from another food blog, (Souvlaki for the Soul) – Beetroot and Pear. This was a lovely combination; the pear addressing what can sometimes be (to my taste) a too earthy flavour from the beetroot. Beetroot roasted or pickled is lovely but in some dishes it can taste a bit like dirt to me. The accompaniment of crusty bread spread with feta (and some more feta crumbled into the soup on serving) also provided a salty balance to the sweetish soup. It really was lovely – and such a vibrant colour (Peter’s photo’s of course are in another league so if you want a gorgeous professional photo of this soup check out his blog). Because Peter doesn’t specify the weight of beetroot and pear I thought others might like to know that I used about 600g of beetroot and 250g of pear and this ratio worked well.
Watch this space for more soups next week – I’ve got three more planned: Carrot, sweet potato, orange & ginger; Corn Chowder (thanks Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial); and Pea, bacon & zucchini.
Creamy Broccoli Soup (from Donna Hay Winter, Issue 51, June/July 2010, reprinted with permission)
Heat 1 Tbl olive oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add 1 chopped brown onion and 1 chopped leek and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add 2 chopped heads of broccoli, 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock and 1 cup (250ml) water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Stir through 1/2 cup (125ml) cream and top with finely grated parmesan to serve.
As mentioned earlier I used 600g broccoli (including stalks) and cooked it with the lid on. I omitted the cream, adding yoghurt to each bowl on serving.