Tag Archives: toppings

Brilliant Green Broccoli Soup

23 Feb

This one’s for my Mum. She loves broccoli and she loves soup so this should be her idea of heaven. Broccoli soups can be disappointing, sludgy, smelly and look a bit like dishwater if you’re not careful. This broccoli soup , however, is bright green, elegant, nutritious and delicious. The Washer Up claimed it was the best soup he had ever had, high praise indeed!!

The reason it stays bright green is because of the spinach added at the last-minute to boost the colour. What I like about this soup is that the predominant flavour is still broccoli with a background of cheese to give it richness and the touch of spice which brings it all together. You can make this soup as basic as you like just topped with a swirl of creme fraiche, or sprinkle over some toasted breadcrumbs, grated cheese and walnuts.  I found this soup recipe at All day I dream about food it’s from Cooks Illustrated magazine. I also found another recipe at The Dabble  which had great topping ideas my favourite being potato croutons.

To make the croutons I used some leftover cooked potatoes that I chopped into about 1cm dice. Put them on some baking parchment drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper & a pinch of cayenne toss to coat and roast in a 210 C oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until browned at the edges. Scatter the still hot croutons over the soup and serve.

As I still had some more potatoes left I thought I would try to glam it up a bit more by making a potato gallette to go on top as well. A potato gallette is a flat thin ring of overlapping potato slices usually made with raw very thinly sliced potatoes. My rather rustic attempt using cooked new potatoes, sliced turned out pretty well except the slices didn’t stick together as well as if you used raw potatoes.

To make a gallete, slice a medium new potato (mine was already cooked) as thinly as you can. Lay the discs on a piece of parchment to form an overlapping circle. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and bake at 210C for 15 – 20 minutes until browned. Keep an eye on them especially if they are really thin, they burn easily. Use a metal spatula to lift the gallete on to the hot soup.

Brilliant Green Broccoli Soup Recipe

serves 2 -3, vegetarian

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • about 1 litre veg stock
  • water if necessary
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 10 squares frozen spinach (or about 15o gr fresh)
  • about 1oo gr grated cheese (I used manchego) parmesan or cheddar would be nice
  • your choice of toppings (see suggestions above)

Cut the broccoli into 1 inch pieces, peel the stem and chop that up into smaller pieces too. In a large pot heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add in the onions, broccoli, garlic, mustard, cayenne, salt & pepper. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring until the onion is translucent or starting to brown. Add in about 200 ml veg stock and the baking soda, bring to a simmer, lower the heat slightly, cover and cook for 15 -20 minutes until the broccoli is very soft.

Add in the rest of the veg stock, bring to a boil and add in the spinach. If using fresh, stir to wilt then add in the cheese. If using frozen spinach cook for 2 or 3 minutes more until the spinach is soft, then stir in the cheese. Remove from the heat and blend (carefully) using a stick blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more water if your soup is too thick for your liking. To serve bring back up to the boil and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with grated cheese or see suggestions above.

Enjoy!!

Chile Sin Carne Con Nachos y Queso

23 Dec

Vegetarian chilli is one of those dishes , like vegetarian lasagna, that tends to disappoint. Flavourless, watery, frozen ready meals spring to mind. This is the antithesis of that sad memory. Think healthy, colourful, packed with flavour, get up and go comfort food and you’re half way there. The toppings make it extra special and tasty, don’t skimp…!

Chilli Sin Carne Con Nachos y Queso

serves 4, vegetarian

adapted from a 101 Cookbooks recipe

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion , chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste (a mexican smoked chilli paste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (4oo ml)
  • 1 – 1 & 1/2 litres veg stock
  • 125 gr cooked chickpeas ( drained & rinsed)
  •  about 200 gr dried brown lentils 1 cup, rinsed
  • about 75 gr dried red lentils 1/3 cup , rinsed
  • about 75 gr barley 1/3 cup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Toppings

  • nachos (corn tortilla chips)
  • grated cheese (I used Cheddar & Manchego)
  • fresh lime juice
  • sour cream
  • fresh coriander, chopped

Cook the onions & celery in hot oil over a medium heat for about 6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, fresh chilli, chilli powder & cumin and cook for another minute. Stir in the chipotle paste, tinned tomatoes and a litre of stock. Add the chickpeas, lentils and barley and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, season with the salt, pepper & oregano and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. You may need to add more stock while it’s cooking.

Preheat the grill to hot and ladle the chilli into warmed bowls. Top with the nachos, grated cheese, a blob of sour cream, a good squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle with fresh coriander. Put it under the hot grill for about a minute until the cheese is melted and bubbling……

This chilli is special, you should make a lot of it. We had it for dinner, and then for lunch the next day, I added some more stock to stretch it. So we had Chilli Soup with Nachos which was also fantastic..

Remember the toppings make it. The crunchy nachos, bubbling cheese, cooling sour cream & zingy lime juice take it to another level… Enjoy!

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