Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Virtuous winter green soup
I love soups in winter. It’s comforting to eat and I can pretend to be a kitchen diva stirring a large pot of soup. Soups are so easy to make, and you can’t really go wrong if you leave most of the seasoning to the end of the cooking. And if like me, you can’t dredge up enough motivation to get out of the house to do your grocery shopping on a cold and wet winters day, a rummage through the fridge, freezer, pantry and garden usually unearths enough ingredients to make a very tasty soup.
Cold and wet winter days remind me of the Christmas holiday I spent in the UK several years ago. There, you have to add ‘grey’ to the miserable adjectives. But I recall Marks and Spencer’s had a wonderful green soup. I can’t remember what was in it, but it was chunky, delicious and very green. It was so good, it almost made up for the inclement weather.
This is my ode to winter weather, lazing indoors in pyjamas, while still cooking a healthy, delicious meal. I eat this with a toasted bagel half smeared with lots of butter (negating some of the healthy aspects). The virtuous green soup is creamy from the use of a floury potato, and if you don’t have kale, substitute with spinach. Kale is one of the easiest vegetables to grow though, and my punnet of seedlings has kept me in kale leaves for many months now.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 medium floury potato, diced (I used Agria)
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup shelled frozen edamame beans
1 large bunch kale, chopped
1L boiling water
vegetable stock (I used 1 ½ stock cubes)
Herbs: 2 bay leaves, thyme & flat-leaved parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and potato with the bay leaves and thyme leaves for ~10 minutes until the onion has softened.
Fill up the kettle and set it to boil. While the aromatics are sweating down, clean and cut the kale into small strips. Add the peas, edamame, kale and parsley to the aromatics with 1L of just boiled water with the vegetable stock cubes.
Simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer in two batches to a blender and process until your preferred consistency. I like it with some bite, so this was blended for all of 3 seconds.
If I have feta in the fridge, I crumble about 50g and add this to the soup. The little salty nibbles of feta further lifts the soup. Season to taste, and serve hot with very good bread.