A warm soup, a cold evening is a match made in heaven…
I must be the only weirdo who truly loves winter. Honestly, what’s not to love? You can overdose on carbs, drink hot chocolate endlessly, eat a piece of cake with your cup of tea without feeling guilty and if you pack on a few pounds you can cover it all up under that trench coat without a worry!
Apart from all the indulgence, there’s one more way to enjoy the winter chill and that is by trying and testing different soup concoctions. Soups are the perfect winter warmer and they are so incredibly versatile! There are smooth and creamy soups, chunky soups, soups with meat, soups with vegetables, soups with pasta, soups with lentils, the list is never-ending.
Recently I had a craving for the classic potato and leek soup, which screams comfort in every bite. So the other night while I was all set on making potato and leek soup, little did I know it was not meant to be that night! I was out of potatoes! The problem with being a foodie is once an idea germinates in your head it is impossible to settle for something else. Potato or no potato, I was determined to make a soup that was as good as potato and leek soup without potatoes. Lo and behold I found a beautiful lush green broccoli head in my fridge. I know you are wondering, how can broccoli ever replace potatoes in a potato and leek soup? Take my word for it, very easily!!!
To quote my husband “it’s the best soup I have ever eaten, I was shocked at how good it was” I believe him considering he went back for thirds.
Ingredients: 13 Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the soup
- One leek pale section only, sliced
- Three pods of garlic, finely chopped
- One large head of broccoli, cut into florets
- One massel vegetable stock cube
- Four cups of water
- 300 ml of fat reduced cream
- One teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves
- Juice of half a lemon
- One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- One tablespoon of butter
- Salt to season
For rosemary infused oil
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Four stems of fresh rosemary leaves (approx 4 inches long)
Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and stir continuously, cook for five to seven minutes until soft. Now add garlic and cook for a minute or two, until aromatic.
Add the broccoli florets, lemon juice and stock cube to the leek mixture. Stir until the stock cube has disintegrated. Now add four cups of water, followed by the dried rosemary leaves and season with salt as required. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the soup simmer until the broccoli is tender.
Once the broccoli is tender, add cream and stir it through. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and let the soup simmer for another five to seven minutes. Finally with a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth.
To make the rosemary oil, heat extra virgin olive oil on a low heat. Add rosemary leaves and temper for about five to seven minutes. Remove from heat and let the oil cool to room temperature.
Garnish the soup with rosemary oil and cracked pepper. Serve this lip smackingly delicious winter warmer with a side of char grilled sourdough bread.