A combination of partaking in a gruelling 18 hour journey with 2 little ones, and a post-Easter-chocolate-induced-haze, made my body literally call out for all things green! And I’m willing to bet that you couldn’t cram any more greens into one food than there are in this soup! Apart from the chopping (which I tend to find oddly quite cathartic at times), the soup is very quick to make in under 20 minutes in one saucepan. It freezes well too, and as strange as it sounds, I have started to enjoy having soup regularly as a snack. I know it’s not your typical one, but for me it makes way more sense. If I have soup for lunch, I end up having to supplement my meal with an abundance of bread in order to fill myself up. But when I looked at the macros I thought to myself ‘why the heck not?’ One portion provides 131 calories, is high in fibre and plant based protein (7g of it to be exact) but is also low in carbs and low in fat…..so on paper, if I saw those macros for a snack I would have thought that I had died and reached foodie heaven! So why not turn things upside down a bit and settle down for a mug of soup as an afternoon pick me up? Breakfast for dinner has become a bit of a thing hasn’t it? And to top it off, all of those greens provide a whole lot more micro-nutrients and antioxidants than any energy ball could provide.
I’m not sure if it was the laziness factor that made me decide not blitz this soup in the blender, or the fact that I now prefer my soups to be mainly clear with chunky bits in, but either way it totally works! I do prefer this method because a) less washing up and b) each mouthful is different and doesn’t resemble some sort of sludge and c) did I mention less washing up??
· 2 tbsp Olive Oil
· 100g Leeks
· 100g Celery Stalks
· 100g White Onions
· 100g Tenderstem Broccoli
· 200g Courgettes
· 300g Asparagus (woody ends removed)
· 150g Peas (I use frozen)
· 150g Broad Beans (I use frozen)
· 5 Cloves Garlic
· 1.5l Vegetable Stock
· A generous handful of fresh herbs of your choice (Basil, Mint, Dill or Chives all work nicely)
· Salt & Fresh Black Pepper to taste
· Finely chop the onions, leeks, celery, courgettes, asparagus and broccoli.
· Mince the garlic.
· Chop the fresh herbs.
· Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
· Add the onions, leeks and celery and cook for 6 or so minutes, until soft but not browning.
· Add the garlic, mix well and continue to cook for another minute before adding the courgettes.
· Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes, making sure the vegetables don’t stick at the bottom of the pan.
· Pour in the vegetable stock, add the broccoli and simmer for 12 minutes with the lid on.
· Add the frozen peas and broad beans and cook for another few minutes.
· Finally add the asparagus for the last 2 minutes (I still like mine to have some crunch to them, but cook them for longer if you want them softer).
· Season with salt and fresh black pepper, and stir through the fresh herbs.
· Serve immediately or if freezing, leave out the asparagus altogether and only add that when you defrost and reheat it.
Calories — 131
Fat — 6g
Carbohydrates — 14g
Protein — 7g
Fibre — 5g
Vitamin A — 17%
Vitamin C — 13%
Calcium — 4%
Iron — 10%