Last night I was entertaining friends and was searching for a veggie recipe that would impress even the most carnivorous of eaters! As of late I’ve been very eager to begin the process of significantly cutting back on meat – you know so I can call myself a flexitarian and veggie in training, before I make the giant leap back to veganism! After going back and forth about what to make, I decided to make one of my absolute favourite vegetarian meals. This soup brings back such fond memories for me, I was taught how to make it by my first mentors in the simple life, the family I nannied for while a student, who I know I’ve mentioned before. As I taste tested I was transported back to our lazy Friday afternoons, a babe in arms, a pre-schooler at my feet who always wanted to help, while eagerly anticipating a cute freckle faced 7-year-old, who would come home for lunch and declare her glee at our favourite Friday lunch! In that moment, I could almost feel that 4-year-old tugging at my leg and the baby declaring his first word, yum!
The recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithica NY. It is by far, one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the world! They have an amazing collection of cookbooks, and on my wish list are, well, many of them!
I’ve adapted slightly, but you will need:
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped onions
1 medium green pepper
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup broccoli floret, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups stock
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream plus a few tablespoons to garnish
1 bay leaf
1 pinch allspice
1 dash basil or thyme (optional, to taste)
1/2 cup buttermilk, whisked in right before serving
1.Saute the onions in butter with bay leaf* until the onions are translucent.
2.Add the chopped green pepper, chopped broccoli, water or stock, and salt.
3.Cook about 10 minutes, covered (until broccoli is tender, but still bright green).
4.Puree little by little with milk, in the blender. *remove bay leaf before pureeing! Make sure it’s pureed until absolutely smooth. (The texture is very important to the success of this soup). Return to pan and gently bring to the boil – being careful not to over cook!
5.Whisk in the sour cream and the seasonings and gently bring to boil again.
6.Steam te broccoli flowerets until just done (again, tender, but full of color).
7. Serve soup and top with a tablespoon of sour cream with broccoli flowerets on top!
I served with spelt & sunflower bread, pieces of mature cheddar cheese and a lovely salad made up of rocket (arugula), cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries and feta cheese. I don’t think my guests often have vegetarian meals, but the unanimous verdict was if all vegetarian meals were this good, they’d try more often!
The cost of the soup using all organic veg & dairy was approximately £3.50 ($6) and it yielded 6 portions. Adding in locally made healthy bread, salad and pieces of mature cheese, the total cost was £7 to feed four people plus an extra two bowls left over for lunch! At a cost of £7 ($13) for 6, that works out to only £1.15 ($2.20) per person!
I hope you enjoy this soup and one day it provides wonderful memories for you too!