Hey you lovely readers!! Hope you all are well and eagerly waiting for some spring sunshine to rejuvenate your spirits again. While I am dreaming of spring and summers, I realised that winters are still hanging around with a temperature of 3 degrees at my place. But hey no worries, that’s why we have soups. And you know what? This was one of mum's favourite ways to sneak veggies in my food when I was little. This is a family recipe and it was especially popular during chilly winter months.
I really love this soup, as it is packed with abundant goodness of seasonal winter veggies like beetroot, turnips, kale, cavolo nero, sprouting broccoli and leeks and these all are disguised by the flavours of tomato, garlic and a dash of magical spices. I am not a fan of chunky soup as my picky eating instincts kick in, so I blended it into a nice and smooth puree, same way mum used to do it.
I also baked an olive and rosemary focaccia to go with this soup. The recipe I used for this focaccia is from the book 'Bread' by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno. There are lot of different types of bread you will find in this book from different regions which you rarely see in the bakery shops.
I have tried a couple of recipes from this book and they were pretty good. Because there are already so many focaccia recipes on the internet, I thought I would excuse myself from adding another.
This is an excellent recipe for vegans and vegetarians too, just replace chicken stock with vegetable stock. It is also completely dairy free and gluten free ( use gluten free and dairy free stock cubes). Do try this tasty soup and let me know what you think...
Preparation time: 8-10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Makes 4-5 servings
Suitable for freezing
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek white, roughly sliced
6-8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly sliced
1 stick of celery roughly chopped
1 turnip, roughly chopped
4-6 florets of sprouting broccoli alongwith
green stems all roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 medium size beetroot, roughly chopped
A handful of each roughly torn cavolo nero
and kale leaves
4 medium sized ripened tomatoes diced
1 cube of each chicken and vegetable stock
1 litre of water
Salt to taste
Chopped chives for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil for a drizzle
3-4 dried bay leaves
a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
a 5 litre pressure cooker
Heat up olive oil in the pressure cooker and add the spices.
Fry the onions, garlic, celery and leeks for about a minute and then add all the veggies and sauté for another minute.
Add the stock cubes, mix and then add water.
Bring it to a boil, then close the lid and let it pressure cook for 5 minutes on high heat and 20-25 minutes on medium heat.
Take off the heat and blend it with a hand blender until you get a puree like consistency. Make sure your blender is heat proof, otherwise let it cool and then blend.
Season it with salt as per taste, warm it up slightly and serve with a garnish of chives and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.