Monday, 19 April 2021

Light and Cheesy Green Vegetable Coconut Soup

Vegetable lovers, this one is for you. This soup is a celebration of all the beautiful green produce coming into season right now.  I have made no compromises with this soup my friends, it is all vegetable based, using totally green produce, organic is preferable. Leek, broccoli, zucchini, celery, peas, baby spinach, garlic and fresh ginger are the basis of my soup this morning but any edible green vegetables you find lurking in your vegetable crisper, will  be perfect. Frozen green veg can be used as well. It's Meat Free Monday in our kitchen, and the perfect day for it. It's a wonderful time of the year to increase our intake of fruit and vegetables. With the weather cooling down even here in the tropics thank goodness, the markets and supermarkets are stocking a beautiful selection of fresh produce at reasonable prices.  Broccoli is $2.99 a kilo today, reasonably priced at last. Will it go lower in price, I hope so. The weekend is often the time when we spend time socialising with friends and family, consuming delicious food and enjoying a couple of drinks so let's give our bodies a chance to recharge on Monday and also help the environment by going meat free. Never has it been more important to keep healthy and boost our immune system, and that is our responsibility.

Oh I just realised, I probably can't call the garlic or the coconut oil green, however they are both produced organically, and the garlic I use is grown locally at nearby Eungella.

 Broccoli and zucchini are now recognised as being key vegetables for people suffering from high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Without going into too much detail about it, broccoli is a rich source of Chromium, a mineral which helps to improve insulin action in pre-diabetes and control blood glucose, an important factor for everyone these days I think. Never has it been more important to keep healthy and boost our immune system. Green vegetable soup is also quite creamy when pureed, thanks to the texture and structure of the versatile zucchini. This soup makes it so easy to include broccoli in your family's diet in a very appetising way, and to control our weight as well. However, for some variety and to be economical, try using up green leftovers and bits and pieces in your crisper by adding celery, beans, chives, eschallots, peas, spinach or silverbeet, a mix of herbs, or anything green and edible. I used 1 cup of frozen peas and beans in this soup which is so convenient.

Ingredients:

1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
6 cups roughly chopped green vegetables, which can include 2 zucchinis, 1 head of broccoli, celery, 1 cup frozen peas and 1 cup beans.  Use whatever you have. (However, it works best using zucchini and broccoli as a base for your other vegetables.)
2 handfuls of baby spinach roughly chopped, these cook right down (optional)
1-2 green chillis (optional)
1 litre vegetable stock (homemade is best if you have it or use stock cubes)
1 cup roughly chopped herbs, such as coriander, basil, oregano or flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 coriander roots finely chopped if you are using coriander as one of your herbs
Pinch of salt, ground black pepper for seasoning
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon (Test the taste after adding juice from ½ a lemon and add more if required.)
1 cup crumbled sharp cheddar such as parmesan


Recipe Notes: 
  • I love the flavour of leeks, however you can use onion.
  • Use butter, olive oil or ghee instead of coconut oil to fry the vegetables if that is what you prefer, and add some coconut milk at the end of the cooking time for a delicious coconut flavour.
  • Swap the green vegetables around using whatever you have on hand.
  • Use chicken stock instead of vegetable if that is all you have.
  • Use fresh rocket for some punch if you wish.
  • If you are vegetarian, add some cooked green lentils for extra protein in your diet.
  • Use up most of the green vegetable. Use the green stalk of the leek if still fresh, the leaves of the celery
  • Zucchini is a great vegetable to use as it makes the soup nice and creamy
  • Add some blue cheese at the end if you have some on hand (did I say blue, you'll be forgiven this time because it tastes great) but parmesan will be delicious
Method:

Saut√© the leek and garlic in the coconut oil in a large saucepan for a superior flavour. (if you are really in a hurry omit this step and just add to the rest of the vegetables, it will still taste great). 

Add the green vegetables to the leek and garlic and stir for a minute, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the herbs, salt to your taste, and a few grinds of black pepper, and then the rocket if you are using it. 

I threw quite a mix of chopped herbs into my pot this time, basil, parsley, coriander and tarragon, however just use what you can find. Parsley as a minimum will work.


Simmer until all the vegetables are cooked and softened. Taste to check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.


Turn off the heat and puree until smooth using a stick blender, or pulse in a normal upright blender when it has cooled slightly.

Whisk in the lemon juice and stir through the cheese, or omit the cheese and top with a dollop of low fat yoghurt or basil pesto. I like to garnish with lots of fresh green herbs such as parsley. There are so many healthy options to choose from.


You can also add some tasty blue cheese to the soup bowl. It will take the whole experience to a new level.




Have an enjoyable and safe week,

Best wishes,

Pauline














8 comments:

  1. A perfect spring dish for veggie lovers! A very different soup....I would love mine with lots of cilantro and Parmesan.

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  2. i love me a good brassica and some zuke! this looks great and green and healthy. Except for coconut oil - it's the devil's work:-) Tee hee!

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    1. 2nd attempt at a reply after a blogger blip, ugh! Never mind, coconut oil gives this soup a lovely flavour, not sure about the devil's work though? Thanks Sherry.

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  3. I have been taking Chromium supplements for years and they have really helped control my blood glucose levels. Great soup recipe :)

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  4. Really interesting soup -- very flavorful and healthy. Just the sort of dish I enjoy making (and eating!). Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hi KR, just saw this comment of yours as I was about to make some more of this soup:)Thanks so much.

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