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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Broccoli & Vegetable Soup

I love this soup for many reasons.  One.. it's super delish and satisfying, always good in a soup!  Two.. it can usually be made with ingredients on hand and takes hardly anytime. Three.. it's a healing soup, drinkable and can be made as  healthy as you like.  And I guess four would be that it is so versatile.  With different vegetable additions and spices, you can go anywhere with this one.  
In this recipe, I use a homemade healing bone broth that I make out of chicken carcasses, head and feet which simmer for at least 48 hours.   You can use homemade or store-bought chicken or vegetable broth in place. Healing broths are new to me as in the last year.. and I love them for their healing effects on my gut and strengthening of bones. 
I also love the turmeric and cayenne here, not just for a kick-up of taste.  I often think traditional broccoli soup can be kinda bland.  But turmeric and cayenne are both very important healing ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

A note on broccoli..  half my life I threw away the stem, not knowing it is actually the best part of the broccoli.  Then I saw Jaques Pepin and he gave this tip to use it, stating it's his favorite part.  Since then, I never waste it.  It's easy to deal with, too.  Simply peel it (you will see the colour difference between the peel and the edible center) and chop the tender center.  This is the part used for broccoli slaw.  When you pay more for the crowns at a store, they get to sell the part you don't want in another product.. making money on you twice! This center part is the best part, steamed or sautéed or whatever.. it is just delicious. 

Broccoli & Vegetable Soup

  • 2 T. coconut or olive oil or butter
  • 3 leeks or 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 4 small red potatoes or 1 large, diced
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 quart of bone broth (you can sub. vegetable or chicken stock)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt (this will vary depending on your stock.. you can always add more later)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3-4 teaspoons turmeric
  • cayenne to taste
  • good glug of raw cream (optional)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1 small lemon
In a large saucepan, heat oil and onions and a sprinkle of salt.  Sauté onions till tender over med high heat.  
Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add carrots and potatoes and broccoli.  Stir in seasonings.. thyme, salt, turmeric, peppers.  Cover with broth or a combination of broth and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook till vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes.  
Using an immersion blender, blitz til creamy perfection. 
Stir in parsley and zest.  
Check for seasoning.  Adding more salt, if needed.  

Add kale, spinach.  This really packs a nutritious punch.  If adding Kale, add in with the carrot.  If adding Spinach.. I like to add in the end, a minute or 2 before blitzing.  I like the fresh taste of spinach or just wilted spinach.. not stewed for 20 minutes.  

Creme fraiche (1 c. sour cream + 2 T. buttermilk), swirl on top of soup in serving bowls when ready to serve.  (not anti-inflammatory, however) 
shredded parmesan .. just a finish on top

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