In general we all overindulge on food over the holiday period. I, for one, did so. I love to bake, even more so during Christmas but I have to say that this year I have eased on baking extra goodies; I end up with too much food during the first week of January. For example, one of the first things I let go is the traditional Christmas cake. (J loves it but it’s not a particular favourite of mine.) Now, before you say I am the meanest person on the planet, let me explain why. We are only two people in this house. I don’t want a big cake to sit there for 6 months in a container, waiting for J to finish it up. The cake keeps but there’s a limit to freshness, with anything, especially in summer. We made plenty of other goodies this year, so J put his mind at rest when we discussed our plans.
As you might have figured by now, you know I’m not a health nut, and I would devour anything when I’m hungry. Nonetheless I like soothing foods, even if it means having some soup on a regular basis. For me, a good soup can be classified as comfort food. When I was a child my mum made sure I ate loads of fruit, veggies and protein, but many years ago I lost track of what I was eating. Now I pace myself, instead of half a cake, I eat one slice! As they say, it’s not rocket science, but I never judge someone for overeating or putting on weight. I know how hard it can be to lose it. I’m no expert – this is just my experience.
What I like to do is to ease on the cakes and sugars, especially in January. It does me a world of good. I eat normally; it’s not healthy to go cold turkey anyways. So let’s ease into 2014 with a very simple recipe, shall we? As with many soup recipes, I make this whenever I have too much broccoli. I never throw extra ingredients away, unless they go bad obviously. However I try not to let anything get to that stage in the first place. It’s good to plan weekly meals, but as a shopper I do go overboard, once in a while. Fact. It just happens. Instead of getting all hot and bothered about it, I go through my cookbook collection, or simply google recipes. It works!
I made this broccoli soup very recently. It’s almost like a broth. Now to be honest, I’m a fan of thick soups. The thin stuff doesn’t usually do anything for me. I recently had a lovely long chat with a reader of this blog about the pros and cons of thick soups. Yes, it’s amazing what food bloggers talk about. It drives people mad! I like this recipe, but if you prefer you could always add more potatoes to bulk it up. It just needs to be served very hot. I don’t like cold soup. You can even have it in a large mug while snuggling under a warm throw, watching The Mentalist. Like one normally does! Serves 4.
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large potato, peeled and roughly chopped in chunks
- 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon mixed spice or garam masala
- 500g broccoli, washed, roughly chopped and stalks removed
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a swirl of sour cream and another of extra virgin olive oil, for topping each serving
Place a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil together with the onions, garlic, potato, celery and spices, and give everything a good stir. When the onion turns golden, add the broccoli and stir, making sure the broccoli are covered with the onion mixture.
Pour in the vegetable stock, let the stock bubble up, reduce the heat and let it simmer until you can comfortably pierce through the broccoli with a fork. Carefully pour the soup into a free-standing blender, or better still, insert a stick blender into the pan and blend, until you have a smooth mixture.
Add salt and pepper if you like. Pour the soup into your serving bowls and swirl the sour cream and a little extra virgin olive oil on top. Serve immediately.