Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Super Green Soup with Cashew Cream

Can it really have been two and a half years since I was last here? Seems it must be true. Of course I've been making soup, a lot of Hall of Famers, and some new soups. A few were underwhelming which is always disappointing- and I don't see the point in sharing them here. Yesterday I made this unusual verdant soup, and it was great. I will definitely be making this soup again.

Super Green Soup with Cashew Cream

This soup is a celebration of all things green. Zucchini, kale and leeks also work well, along with any other greens from the fridge that need using up.

1 Tblsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets, stem separate
3 handfuls fresh or frozen peas
700mL hot vegetable or chicken stock
1 small bag baby spinach

For the Cashew Cream
150gm raw cashews
1 clove garlic
Zest of 1 lemon

A few hours before making the soup, prepare the cashew cream. Put the cashews into a bowl, pour over 300mL hot water and leave to soak for at least 2 hours. Once the cashews are tender, drain and place into a food processor along with 300ml of fresh water, the garlic and lemon zest. Blitz until completely smooth and creamy. Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and sweat the onion until translucent. Add the chopped broccoli stems, cook for a few minutes. Add the broccoli florets and peas, cook for 5 minutes, then add the hot stock - the vegetables should be just covered (you may need a little extra water). Bring to the boil, then simmer until the broccoli is tender, roughly 4 minutes. Don't overcook the vegetables or they will turn a dull green.

Blend soup adding the spinach - the spinach will cook as it's mixed into the hot soup. Blend until the soup is smooth and thick, then stir through half the cashew cream.

Serve with a swirl of cashew cream on top.

Serves 4
Edited extract of Amelia Freer Cook. Nourish. Glow
Published in Sunday Telegraph body + soul 28/2/16

Naturally I modified the original recipe a bit. I did have some zucchini and half a butter lettuce in the fridge to use up. I put the zucchini in with the stock, and mixed the lettuce in with the spinach at the blending stage.

The colour was beautiful punchy green the first night, but I forgot to photograph it. It was a little bit more olive green the next day.

It was good warm or chilled.

I'd never made cashew cream before. It was good- quite runny with the 300mL of water, you could easily reduce the water a little for a slightly thicker cream.

I didn't notice that it was meant to have chopped fresh parsley as a garnish until I was typing here. Clearly it was fine without it. Coriander would work I think, or basil- Master Soup is quite obsessed with basil currently.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and Bush Dust Soup

Eek, I can't quite believe that it's been over a year since I posted here.... Hmm, I have been eating soup though of course, just not blogging about it. Naturally I've been making my Hall of Fame recipes, they're never far from my mind, or my lips, and I have tried quite a few new soups, not all of them noteworthy, and I don't see all that much point to blogging soups that I wouldn't remake myself.

I'm pretty proud of this soup though as it's an original creation. And it's super easy, and delicious! I started off intending to use this recipe for Creamy Cauliflower and Roasted Onion Soup from a lovely new Australian blog Lushloves, but I do love fiddling with soup recipes, and tonight I fiddled enough to create a new soup.

I've been eating well this year, losing weight, and estimate that I've now eaten my body weight in cauliflower- and I'm still not tired of it! I've been roasting quite a lot of cauliflower too so it made sense to roast it here.

I forgot to photograph the soup
but I'm sure you can visualize whizzed up cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and Bush Dust Soup

1 cauliflower
2 brown onions, chopped in segments
Olive oil
1 head garlic, unpeeled, wrapped in foil
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup skim milk powder
2 tsp Tasmanian Bush Dust/or other spice blend that you like

Chop cauliflower and onions, put into two roasting pans, drizzle with olive oil.

Roast cauliflower, onions and garlic in a medium oven until done (I always lose track of time while doing this, but it's quite a forgiving process).

Squeeze garlic cloves from the head of garlic. Make a paste from the skim milk powder and some of the vegetable stock. Place all cooked vegetables into blender, add stock, milk paste and spice. Blitz until smooth.

Heat soup, and enjoy with some tasty toasted rye bread and butter.

I used Tasmanian Bush Dust as the seasoning tonight because I found an unopened jaw lurking in the pantry. I don't remember buying it but suspect that I bought it on a trip to Tasmania last year. Bush Dust is a delicious mix of macadamia nuts, Tasmanian native pepper, bush tomatoes, herbs and spices. You could substitute many other spices or spice blends that you have on hand. Cumin. Ras al hanout. Garam masala. A curry blend. They would all work really well.

The 5 cups of stock wasn't quite enough, my soup is really too thick (can that actually happen? I never really thought so until now), but I've been diluting it somewhat to eat it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chickpea and Lentil Mulligatawny with Spicy Yoghurt

It's always exciting getting a new soup cookbook. I have so many soup books that sometimes I can find a "new" book on my own shelf....

I don't remember buying this book, but recently I decided to use it for the first time. It has lots of great sounding soups- some classics, some tweaked versions of favourites, some quite novel. Lebanese lentil soup. Roasted sweet potato bisque with avocado and lime salsa. Persian minted onion soup. Beetroot gazpacho with avocado cream.

For my first foray I chose Chickpea and Lentil Mulligatawny with Spicy Yoghurt. I've adapted it a bit.

25gm unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
125gm chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and then drained
2 tblsp prepared curry paste
1 tblsp gram (chickpea) flour
1 L chicken stock
125gm puy lentils
1 tblsp mango chutney
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
400ml can light coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cumin yoghurt
1tsp ground cumin
1 small pot of Greek yoghurt

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and turmeric, cook over a low heat until softened. Add the soaked chickpeas and curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, then sprinkle over the chickpea flour and stir it in. Pour on the stock and bring it to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours topping up with more liquid if it begins to get too dry.

Stir in the lentils and simmer for 30-40 minutes, then add the mango chutney and apple and cook for another 20 minutes.

For the cumin yoghurt, stir the cumin and yoghurt until combined.

Pour the soup into a blender/thermomix, blitz until it is a smooth puree. Return to the pan, add the coconut milk, and reheat. Season to taste. Serve topped with cumin yoghurt.

Always beware of recipes that aren't photographed in books that have a photo accompanying each recipe. They are usually an unappealing colour.  Especially if the chosen picture is of an ingredient that isn't even in the recipe.

I omitted 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes. The original recipe also included two smoked chicken breasts to be served shredded on top. I never bothered with that.

I used a yellow curry paste.

You can just blitz a few unsoaked chickpeas in a thermomix or fast blender to make the chickpea flour. And then use leftover chickpea flour on parboiled potatoes before roasting them- crispiest roast spuds ever!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pea, mint and pine nut soup

While pea and ham soup isn't one of my great favourites,  I do love a fresh pea soup. This intriguing twist caught my eye recently. It was delicious, and so simple.

Pea, mint and pine nut soup

1 tblsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced into rings
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
600gm fresh or frozen peas
2 tblsp chopped mint
2 tblsp pine nuts

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion, celery and leek and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes until vegetable are soft but not coloured. Add stock, peas and three quarters of the mint and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts by tossing in a frying pan until golden. Roughly chop nuts and combine with remaining mint leaves.

Remove soup from heat. Puree until smooth. Season, return to heat and serve hot, sprinkled with pine nuts and mint.

Serves 4
David Herbert
The Weekend Australian Magazine

I actually cooked mine in the Thermomix, I'm sure it would be just as easy, and just as wonderful on the stovetop.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Green Tea and Broccoli Soup

I love how international recipes can be now. This recipe came to me via a French magazine and a Lebanese-American blog! Now it comes to you via an Australian soup blog. It is certainly the modern way to pass a recipe about. I immediately knew that I would have to try this when I saw it on Taste of Beirut a few weeks ago.

This soup was a bit experimental for me, particularly the novel use of green tea as stock. I'm not the biggest tea drinker. I do like green tea at Thai restaurants, but have had trouble replicating that success at home. I have a cupboard full of different brands that I've tried, and then not really liked. I thought it would make a perfect antidote to hot cross buns and Easter chocolates. A nice antioxidant boost to counteract the recent badness somewhat.

I modified the recipe to cook it all in my Thermomix. It's easy to adapt back to stove top if you don't have such expensive toys.

Green Tea and Broccoli Soup

1 large brown onion
2 cloves garlic
20gm olive oil
4 Japanese green tea bags
1 litre (4 cups) boiling water
600gm fresh broccoli (1 large and 1 medium head of broccoli)
1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro)
Sea salt, freshly ground white pepper to taste

Peel onion and garlic. Chop onion into quarters. Place into Thermomix. Chop on Speed 7 for 5 seconds.

Add oil.

Cook onion and garlic at 100 degrees on Speed 1 for 3 minutes.

Steep green tea bags in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove tea bags.

Add lightly chopped broccoli. Chop on Speed 7 for a few seconds.

Add the hot green tea.

Cook for 14 minutes at 100 degrees on Speed 1 or until broccoli is cooked.

Add coriander. Season. Blitz until smooth.

Coriander is the major flavour- which is a great thing for me, as I really love coriander, and don't love broccoli all that much.

I enjoyed this for a few work lunches, and then had the last of it for dinner with a toasted chicken sandwich. It was tasty.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dunny Wall Philosophy

I'm a great believer that you need to take wisdom wherever you find it. Even if it is on the toilet wall.

Kenny and Ziggy's Houston Texas, Ladies Toilets

Sadly I didn't get to eat soup at Kenny and Ziggy's. I had already ordered when I found this piece of wisdom, and so I ate (some of) what appeared to be the largest Reuben in the world. 

Saturday Snapshot, is a wonderful weekly meme from at home with books.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Catalan Potato and Broad Bean Soup

Last year I was brave and discovered that I like broad beans. After that initial success, I even made some very delicious Broad Bean Felafel Fritters. I've been eagerly awaiting this years broad bean season, and was excited to see them for $2.99 a kilo over the past few weeks. Time for another broad bean intervention.

I decided to make a soup this time, and knew that I would have a recipe for a broad bean soup somewhere. Of course I did. Several. But I picked this one- I just love coriander, and can rarely resist it. I'm so glad I did- this is a fabulous soup. I'm not sure what makes it Catalan particularly, but it is simple and delicious nonetheless.

Catalan Potato and Broad Bean Soup

30mL/ 2 tblsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 large floury potatoes, diced
450gm/1 lb fresh broad (fava) beans
1.75 L/ 3 pints/ 7 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves only
150 mL/ 1/4 pint/ 2/3 cup thickened light cream
salt, pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until softened but not brown.

Add potatoes, beans, and stock to the mixture in the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add coriander, allow to wilt.

Process the mixture in a blender or food processor, then return soup to the pan.

Stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.

Serves 6
based on the recipe by
Anne Sheasby in The New Soup Bible

Not a particularly pretty picture this week I'm afraid- I took this soup to work everyday for lunch, so it was only able to be photographed in traveling containers. It doesn't do it justice.

The original recipe added the coriander after 5 minutes then simmered it for 10+ minutes. I like it added fresh at the very end. It keeps the lovely green colour, and more of the flavour I think. Less stewed, less grey. As such my soup was a pale green, pretty colour, the one in the book is more of a golden brown colour.

This soup is delicious hot or cold. A bit like a vichyssoise.

The recipe didn't state it, but I took "broad beans" to mean peeled, blanched, repeeled broad beans.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.