Thursday 12 November 2015

Waste not, want not: Broccoli soup

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who is sticking with me and checking this blog, even though I haven't posted for a while.  Readers of my other blog will know that I have taken on some slightly longer term supply work which is taking all my time and stopping me from experimenting.

Having caught up with Hugh F-W's second programme on food waste and got all fired up, I checked the fridge to find a head of broccoli that was definitely past being boiled.  I know some would recommend the compost heap but, after signing his 'pledge', I didn't feel I could do that as it was just really 'old', not slimy or pongy, so I made a broccoli soup and it tasted really good.  Despite no milk or cream, the texture and flavour were both 'creamy' and it was filling and satisfying.

I used Thermione as I usually do for soups now, but it can also be made the usual way.  I have included both methods.

Ingredients:  to make from 4 to 6 servings depending on how big your servings are and whether it is a snack or a meal.
one medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
a good glug of oil
a head of broccoli, chopped.  I just cut the very bottom bit off the stalk that had dried out but used the rest, lower stalk and all
a squidge of garlic puree
a chicken stock pot (the Aldi version, so molto cheapo)
some black pepper
a good grating of nutmeg
half tsp roasted garam masala (because I have some - ordinary would be fine or any other herb or spice you fancy using)
enough boiling water to take it to just under the 1.5litre mark
three heaped tbsps of instant mash (value mash is fine or you could cook a 'real' spud with the broccoli)

The Thermione way.
Into the bowl place the onion and oil and saute at 100 for 5 mins on 2
Then add the chopped broccoli, the garlic puree and the boiling water, the nutmeg and garam masala

Boil on 100, speed 2 for about 20 mins

Allow to cool a little, then zizz at highest speed for around 30 seconds until it is smooth.

Add the instant mash and zizz again.  Taste and add salt if needed.  Stock pots can be salty so I never add more salt until the end.  Adding the mash meant that a bit more salt was needed.

Re-heat to piping hot and serve.  You could add a bit of cream or creme fraiche or crumble over some stilton if you want.  I didn't.

On the hob method:
In a saucepan, soften the onion with the oil.
Add the broccoli, water to cover, garlic puree, nutmeg and garam masala.  Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until the broccoli is cooked.

Zizz to a smooth texture either in a blender or using a hand blender.  Yopu might want to add some more water if it is very thick as the mash thickens it.  Add the mash and mix again, then check seasoning and add salt if necessary.  Re-heat to piping hot and serve.

Make it vegetarian friendly by using a vegetable stock pot or some marigold bouillon powder instead.

This is certainly not an expensive soup and it used something that could otherwise have been used in a different way (composted) but one could make it by saving the broccoli stalks that one cuts off, freezing them in a poly bag and using them when one has enough.


  1. The thing that concerns me about using old food is, is there any goodness left in them? Any vitamins at all?

  2. Goodness knows but it wasn't wasted and it tasted delicious!!! :-)