Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

 

Being the middle of winter in New Zealand, our dinner menu has turned to lots of warming, nourishing meals, and the simplest form that takes is soup! Soup can be very easy and quick to make, and the leftovers make for the best lunch the next day.

I’ve posted quite a few soups over the last couple of years, like this ever popular coconut cashew soup, this spiced coconut & kumara chicken soup and even a Vietnamese inspired pho with zoodles. I’ve also ventured into soups with toppings like this green soup with adzuki bean topping and this carrot, pumpkin & turmeric with spicy black bean topping.

However, I realised I’ve yet to share a completely blended, super creamy, vegetable based soup. No doubt because I’m all about minimising time in the kitchen, so if I can get away without blending a soup then that’s how it’s going to be served! This spiced broccoflower, parsnip and sweet potato soup simply begs to be blended, and the result is the creamiest, smoothest vegetable soup, that puts it into a whole other soup galaxy!

To keep things simple, this soup starts off with a broth base – either vegetable or chicken – up to you. Next add onion, garlic and ginger, followed by vegetables, and allow it to simmer until the vegetables are softened. At this point it’s best to blend it, i.e. before adding any spices, because if you DON’T WANT TO TURN YOUR BLENDER JUG YELLOW, it’s best the turmeric stays out until after you’ve blended it!!

If you throw caution to the wind and do it anyway, a turmeric stained jug can be reversed by leaving it in the sun where the UV rays will naturally turn it back to it’s original colour (though mine still isn’t quite the same).

To finish this soup off and bring all the flavours together add either coconut milk or cream – whichever you have to hand, and for those of you who feel some extra protein is required, you can either add a cup of firm tofu cubes, or finely sliced chicken breast.

As for toppings, here you can go crazy, if you want to! I love to start my toppings with a good swirl of coconut yoghurt. If your coconut yoghurt is too thick to swirl, a good tip to thin it out is to stir in a little coconut milk until you have a pourable consistency. From there, I like to sprinkle over some almond dukkah and finish off with some pretty edible flowers. But if you want a more substantial topping, feel free to whip up one of the soup toppings like the adzuki or black bean I linked to above, or simply throw anything else on top that you think would suit. Micro greens are beautiful as is a large handful of watercress. Enjoy!

 

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

 

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Makes: 4 to 6 serves
Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes

500ml Vegetable or Chicken Broth (I used Imagine Organic Broth 473ml)
4 cups filtered water
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 head broccoflower, cut into florets (could also use cauliflower or broccoli)
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
10cm piece fresh ginger, grated
10cm piece fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 Tbsp ground turmeric)
1 Tbsp curry powder
dash of cayenne pepper
400ml coconut milk or cream

Optional Extras:
250g firm tofu diced
2 chicken breasts

Optional Toppings:
Almond dukkah
Unsweetened coconut yoghurt
Coconut cream
Watercress or micro herbs
Edible flowers

To make the soup, place the broth, water, onion and garlic into a large pan set over medium heat. While the soup base is heating up prepare the rest of the vegetables. Peel and chop the sweet potato and parsnip into bite size pieces and add to the soup. Wash the broccoflower well, chop into florets and add to the soup. Season well with salt and pepper. When the sweet potato is cooked through (test by cutting a piece with a butter knife and it should slide through easily), turn off the heat and blend using a stick blender or a Vitamix style jug blender.

Return the blended soup to the pot, add the remaining spices followed by the coconut milk or cream and heat until it just starts to simmer again. At this point the soup is ready to be served. If you wish to add tofu, simply add the cubes and allow them to heat through. If you wish to add chicken breast, slice it thinly and add to the soup. Allow the soup to gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with your choice of soup toppings from the list above.

This spiced broccoflower, parsnip & sweet potato soup will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for approximately a week, and will freeze for up to 3 months.

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

 

This is indeed another soup post, but this soup is so delicious I had to share it!

Soup is definitely a go-to recipe when I want something delicious and warm in a short amount of time. I also love the idea of soup toppings which I first talked about here as they really lift a bowl of soup into something way more interesting and flavoursome, and the combinations really are endless!

In my last soup post I talked about the different coloured soups I’d been making and this is the green soup in that series. You may have noticed when making green vegetable soup that it starts off a vibrant green colour but by the end of cooking it turns murky olive green. A vibrant green soup is so much more appetising than the latter, so with that in mind I adjusted the way this green soup is cooked to try and keep it as fresh and green as possible.

By cooking the hard green vegetables, such as broccoli and celery, very lightly so they remain a little crisp, they’re more likely to retain their green colour. For softer green vegetables, such as spinach, add them at the very end so that they’re only lightly steamed, and any fresh herbs can be added straight to the blender. The result is a very vibrant green soup, which also happens to be better for you as the nutrients aren’t subjected to quite so much heat! The other bonus about the cooking method is it only takes 20 minutes to make, making it a realistic week day meal.

The topping I created for this green soup is a crunchy adzuki bean, sunflower seed and coriander combination, with a little middle eastern spin from sumac and ras el hanout. If you don’t have or like these spices, this topping recipe is definitely open to variations so feel free to use whatever spices you like. Likewise, the soup recipe is a basic starting point. Feel free use whatever green vegetables are in season and that you have on hand, using the basic cooking guidelines detailed below.

This green soup with adzuki bean topping makes a delicious lunch or dinner, and it keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. Hope you give this one a try, and would love to hear from you in the comments section below. Enjoy!

 

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping
 

Green Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes: 6 bowls

1 head of broccoli
6-8 stalks of celery
4 cups filtered water
10cm piece of ginger
3 cloves garlic
4 bunches of spinach
1 large handful coriander
1 large handful Italian Parsley
1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Wash the broccoli, celery and spinach well. Cut the broccoli into florets and place in a large pan along with the water and roughly sliced celery. Roughly slice the ginger and garlic and add to the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and gently simmer for about 5 minutes. The broccoli and celery should still look green and have a slight crunch. Add the spinach and place a lid on top. Don’t worry if it doesn’t totally fit. You are just aiming for the steam from the water below to wilt it a little. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the soup is cooling you can prepare the topping – see recipe below.

Once the topping is ready the soup should be cool enough to blend. You should be able to do this in two batches. Start by blending the first half of the soup until smooth, then add half the herbs and blend until you can see they are just mixed in. Repeat for the second batch. Combine the two blender batches again in the cooking pot you used, add a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir to ensure everything is evenly mixed then divide the soup up into your serving bowls and add the topping to the centre.

 

Adzuki Bean Topping

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes

1 400g can adzuki beans
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp ras el hanout
freshly ground salt & pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 large handful coriander, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Open the can of adzuki beans, place them in a sieve to give them a good wash and then let them drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan and add the crushed garlic. Cook for about a minute and then add the sunflower seeds, sumac, ras el hanout, salt & pepper & coconut sugar. Cook stirring for a few minutes until you hear the sunflower seeds start to pop. Add the adzuki beans and stir a few more minutes until the beans are heated through. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and coriander. Give it a good stir and then add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve piled into the centre of a bowl of green soup.

 
Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping