Monday, April 26, 2010

Get Your Greens: Curried Broccoli Soup

At some point over the past ten years, I (finally) figured out the secret to making delicious tasting soup. Somewhere along the way, I graduated from making watery, tasteless renditions to making soup that tastes and looks like soup I would pay money for. Healthy and heart-warming soups that are packed full of nutritious goodness and flavour.

This recipe for curried broccoli soup is a keeper because it's easy to make, easy to make well, and has lots of flavour.

Tips that will help you make the perfect soup bowl of soup

You don't need to make your soup stock if you use a good quality brand like Pacific Natural Foods Organics. I use to try and make my own vegetable soup stocks, but they are hard to make with a lot of flavour. Pacific Organics makes a good tasting broth that isn't too salty. Watch for when they go on sale and stock up on stock.

Another thing I do to get good tasting soup, is I always use a little more seasoning, spices and herbs then the recipe calls for. In general, recipes are created to suit the average palate and are often on the mild side (unless it's one of Emilie Lagase's recipes). My advice? Give the soup a taste, and then add in a little more of each spice and herbs. When it comes to soup, more is better.

Curried Broccoli Soup (serves 4)
Adapted from a John Bishop recipe

1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 green chili pepper (Serrano, jalapeno) seeded and diced
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup green lentils, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 tablespoon garam masala
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and cooking oil of your choice in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and saute for 10 minutes until it begins to brown and caramelize.

Add celery, garlic and ginger, stir and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, broccoli and lentils.

After a minute, add vegetable stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove from heat and add garam masala, salt and pepper. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Pour back into the soup pot and taste for seasoning.

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