Did you know that spinach originated in Persia?
It is a green leafy vegetable loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that boasts some formidable connections to amaranth and also beets and quinoa. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and is loaded with proteins and carbohydrates.
Did you know that Broccoli is a cabbage and not a cauliflower? It is a cabbage of the mustard variety which is native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor region. It was cultivated in Italy in the ancient Roman times and was introduced to England and America in the 1700s.
Broccoli is a rich source of both fibre and protein. It is also rich in iron, calcium, potassium, selenium and magnesium and contains several vitamins. And, there is no denying the health benefits of both. Both the ingredients are nutrient rich.
My broccoli and spinach soup is a continental recipe that I prefer to make in the winters. It is a thick soup that not just fills the belly but also leaves you with a warm, cozy feeling that is perfect to beat the chill.
- 2 medium sized onions, chopped finely
- 6 cup vegetable broth/ water
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium sized potato, cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons butter + 1 teaspoon olive/refined vegetable oil
- 1 medium head of broccoli, approx 2 cups with florets and stalk too (approx 2 – 2 1/2 cup)
- 4 cups spinach, chopped roughly
- salt as required
- pepper powder as required
- 1 teaspoon thyme (fresh is better but use dried if fresh is not acceptable)
- Bread croutons to garnish
After the soup is cooked you can add cream, grated cheese (parmesan) or even ½ cup of warm milk to it. I however, prefer to drink it without any of the above garnishes and it tastes amazing
Note – whenever I cook with butter, I like to add a few drops of oil to the butter as it hits the hot pan. This prevents the butter from burning.
- In a heavy bottomed pan add the butter and the oil. The oil is added to prevent the butter from burning. Once the butter is hot, tip in the garlic and onions. Sauté them till the onions turn pink and start to sweat.
- Add the cubed potatoes and the salt. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the broth/water and the thyme. Bring the solution to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- When the potatoes are almost 3/4th done, add the broccoli. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 5-8 minutes till the potatoes are cooked. Broccoli takes less time to cook as compared to the potatoes so should be added after the potatoes.
- Add the spinach leaves and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the solution to cool before churning it in a blender. I prefer to use a hand-held stick blender for this.
- Put the pureed solution (no need to run it through a sieve) back on the gas and allow it to thicken for about 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Add the pepper powder at this stage.
- Garnish with bread croutons. If you wish to use cream or cheese as a garnish then add them only after the soup is cooked and has been taken off the heat. The milk can be added when the soup is on heat. It should be stirred in and the soup should be allowed to bubble up once before switching off the heat.