This year saw surprisingly long Winter and Spring, which set the mood for soups, starters, and more-than-regular-quota of fried snacks in the TT household. We had abundant supply of fruits to see us through breakfast – oranges, more oranges, grapes, strawberries and bananas. What is your favourite Season? Why?
Lunch was the usual fare with rice, gravy and a dry side, if it was not gluten free flatbreads with gravy. I am not sure why, but Winter is one time when dinner becomes the most anticipated meal of the day. I am sure you have one favourite meal too. Do you? I would start with a soup or some roasted vegetables late in the evening followed by a light meal. Its no secret. You know I love soups! Spring brought in beautiful green vegetables that seemed to speak to me aloud whenever I visited the market. I would end up coming home with tons of broccoli, spinach, peas and other greens with no way to use up except in soups. I could never tire of this one!
Normally when I make broccoli soup, it is only made with broccoli but this time I had less broccoli than needed. The amount of peas I shelled the day before made it right. And this soup happened. Peas complement broccoli by adding creamy texture and taste to the soup. They also help in adding volume.
By now you are probably aware that I never pair soup with breads. We enjoy it for what it is – a lean, healthy and nutritious snack! I saved some in a bowl to take photographs the next day. There is no other way to blog soup recipes otherwise.
Like most of my other soup recipes, this too is a steamed version. I added a few drops of olive oil for the amazing aroma. It was Jr.H’s bowl. For us I prepared some vegan sour cream. But in the end everybody wanted that drop of extra virgin olive oil. It has found a place in our hearts!
Recipe: Broccoli and pea soup
Serves: 4 bowls
You can make this oil free by not using the olive oil as garnish
Broccoli, stalks trimmed and hard portions set aside and cleaned – 3 cups
Green peas, shelled – ½ cup
Vegetable stock – 4 cups or more as needed
Pink salt – to taste
Lemon pepper – to taste
Extra virgin olive oil – a drop or two per bowl to add flavour
Or Sour cream – A teaspoon per bowl (Recipe follows)
Steam broccoli and peas for two minutes. Remove the broccoli flowerets and steam peas further for a minute.
Cool and puree together to a coarse mixture, adding a little vegetable stock to make it easy. Do not add too much or you will have a green kitchen in not time when the soup shoots out of the blender!
Remove into a saucepan. Add vegetable stock, a cup at a time to bring the soup to a consistency of your liking.
Warm through, adding salt to taste.
Ladle into bowls. Add a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil while serving and crush fresh lemon pepper for taste.
Alternatively, garnish with a swirl of sour cream. [Highly recommended]
Vegan sour cream:
Cashewnuts – ½ cup, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 2 tsps., or as per taste
Thyme, picked from the stem – 2-3 sprigs
Salt to taste
Drain cashewnuts and grind with thyme, adding water if necessary to form a thick creamy paste.
Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix well and garnish the soup. This cream tastes great as a spread on sandwich too.
Steaming for two minutes retains nutrition as well as the bright green colour characteristic of this soup.
You can use coconut milk instead of vegetable stock or use part coconut milk and part stock. But with peas already adding creaminess here, I did not feel the need to add coconut milk at all.
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