In an admittedly clichéd effort to eat healthier and save money in 2016, I've set out to make a heaping vat of soup every Sunday to serve as lunches for the following week.
There's something very theraputic about making soup - a big pot of broth on the hob keeping you warm inside while the snow is falling outside. Once you know the basics it is so easy to throw something together with whatever you have in the house. For Christmas I recieved Anna Jones' bestselling cookbook, A Modern Way to Eat and in it she provides this incredible flow chart to help you make soup "without a recipe". Last week I made a butternut squash and butterbean soup (which I thusly named "butter soup") using that method and I happily ate it every day for lunch that week. I would highly recommend taking a look at this cookbook (and the sequel, A Modern Way to Cook the next time you're in a bookstore, if only for this flowchat. While technically that was soup my first #sundaysoup of the year, reluctantly I didn't capture it for posterity, so today's adventure is my official number one.
While I did not build this week's soup directly from Jones' flowchart - instead I drew inspiration from this recipe - the principles are the same. This week's #sundaysoup is a broccoli, white bean and tarragon soup. It's bright and packed with great green veg while still being hearty. It tastes like spring in a bowl, which is just what you need when the weather is frightful outside.
Broccoli, White Bean & Tarragon Soup
1 large white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of coconut oil or alternative
small bunch of tarragon, leaves torn off & chopped
2 heads of broccoli, flourets and stalks chopped
2 cans of white kidney beans
2 vegetable stock cubes
water, 8 cups or enough to cover
handful of kale
juice of half a lime
salt & pepper to season
Heat coconut oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until translucent and slightly golden. Sprinkle in tarragon leaves and stir, cooking on low heat until fragrant.
Meanwhile, chop and separate broccoli flourets from stalk. Add broccoli stalks cut into inch long pieces to onion, garlic and tarragon mixture. The broccoli stalks need longer to cook than the flourets, so set these aside and save for later.
Add white kidney beans to mixture along with two vegetable stock cubes, crumbled. Boil kettle of water and pour into pot, enough to cover the mixture and to accomodate broccoli flourets later. Bring soup to boil on the stovetop and when the broccoli stalks are fork-tender add the flourets and cover pot to let them cook slightly. Finally, add the handful of kale and remove pot from the stove, letting the heat from the soup soften the kale.
Using a immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. If you have the patience and time to blend the soup in batches in a food processor or blender you can give that a try, as this will result in a slightly more creamy and smooth texture. Squeeze in a little lime juice to brighten up the flavor and season to taste.
To serve, top with a bit of yogurt or a drizzle of olive oil if you're feeling indulgent. Harry made homemade country rolls earlier in the day (how domestic are we!) so we had those alongside our soup for a bit more substance for dinner.
This batch of soup will provide at least 10 generous portions, enough for lunches for two throughout the week. Going forward I will be freezing some of my Sunday soups so I can have a bit of variety throughout the week. I have a batch of turkey soup from Christmas I will be taking out of the freezer to change it up a bit.
Look out for more #sundaysoup posts from me throughout the year. Let's see if I can stick with this blogging thing in 2016...