Sunday, February 10, 2008

Broccoli Soup


The weather just isn't letting up here and we have been having unseasonally cold weather. "Its February!", I want to scream,"Time to put back the sweaters and move around with a light stole, and oh yes! no socks on my feet the WHOLE time!!".

Instead we are stuck with single digit minimum temperatures and its slated to get worse! My daughter, down with a bad cold, was struggling to breathe through her blocked nose....mealtimes quickly turned into a nightmare.

So, what do I do? Plan a week full of soups, runny khichdis and lentil stews.

One of the soups I made was a broccoli soup with potatoes and carrots in it to give it a bit of body and more flavour. I usually add spinach to this soup which makes it a darker green, but didn't have any on hand.
Having been in hot and humid Chennai for such a long time, my soups tend to be as light as possible and so I don't really add cheese - but colder temperatures may warrant some calories, so go ahead if you feel like.

Broccoli is a vegetable related to the cauliflower (it looks like a green version of cauliflower anyway) and a member of the cabbage family. But what I found out was that the stem of the broccoli is much more fibrous than cauliflower, and remains crunchy when cooked.

In Italian , it is known as "Broccollo" which means "Cabbage sprout" and shares the sulphur smell of cabbage and cauliflower, which is released if overcooked.
So, to prevent nutrition loss as well as the smell, it is always better to steam this vegetable for salads and stir fries, so that it is just tender and not mushy.

It is packed with vitamins like A,K,C and riboflavins as well as fiber, calcium and potassium. Besides a huge list of health benefits which include protection against cancer and cardiac disease, it also has anti oxidant properties which help the skin.

While researching foods that would help my digestive system's limited capacity, I also found out that this vegetable supports stomach health by eliminating bacteria responsible for gastritis and ulcers.

Broccoli is no longer as difficult to get in India nor as expensive, and it is a good idea to make it part of your diet, even if just once a month.

This soup is going to "No Croutons Required" which has just been started by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen and Holler of Tinned Tomatoes. The event is a new monthly soup and salad challenge and this month's theme is Vegetarian Soups and is being hosted by Lisa.

Broccoli Soup



Ingredients:

Broccoli - 7-8 florets
Carrot - 4 tbsp grated
Potato - 1 small grated
Onions - 1 chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves chopped
Bay leaf - 1
Butter or vegetable oil - 1/2 tbsp
Vegetable stock - 350 - 400 ml
salt to taste
freshly crushed black pepper
Cream - 1 tbsp per portion (optional)

Method:

1. Heat the butter or oil in a heavy pan and drop in the bay leaf. Add the onions and saute till translucent, put in the chopped garlic cloves and fry one minute.
2. Add the grated carrot and potato and fry for 2 minutes. Put in the broccoli pieces, saute one minute, then the salt and the stock. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for about 20- 30 minutes till the vegetables are cooked and soft. Alternatively, you can pressure cook the vegetables at this stage.
3. Strain the water and let cool. Remove the bay leaf, blend the vegetables to a smooth paste and add as much of the strained soup liquid as needed to give it a thick creamy consistency.
5. Pour it back into the pan, adjust the salt and heat through. A dash of cream and a sprinkle of freshly crushed black pepper and it's ready!

9 comments:

Sagari said...

yummy soup ,love that cup and spoon

Asha said...

Beautiful! I love the taste of this soup. Send it to "no crouton required" event.

http://foodandspice.blogspot.com/2008/02/no-croutons-required.html

Dhivya said...

hi first time here..nice blog dear...soup sounds great and healthy too

Maya said...

soup looks really yumm n filling..great colour too..

Miri said...

Thanks Sagari, I do too!

Thanks for the heads up Asha, have already sent it to that event.

Thanks Dhivya and Maya.

AnuZi said...

Hi stumbled on your blog through Shilpa's. Its extremely cold here in the nations capital....and your soup looks sooooooo good. Would love to try out the recipe. Thanks for sharing :o)

Rachel said...

Very comforting soup..love the soup bowl!

Laavanya said...

Nice colour Miri.. I make it similarly too and add carrots and potatoes as well :)
That's a good idea about adding spinach.

anita said...

Can you believe it was Basant Panchami yesterday?! Spring, where is it?

Yes, I can see you relish your mustard/cabbage family - like a lot of us. (I like radish sambar too!) They are full of nature's goodness.