Some broccoli soup came up on my Instagram feed the other day and the vibrant bowl of green caught my eye. I just had to have some. Conveniently the Universe agreed and made all the greens required super cheap at my local vege shop.
Junk Free June continues and while the lack of cake has been soul destroying it has forced me into experimenting with new healthier recipes. I know this says blue cheese in the title but I am still going to claim that cheese in small amounts is healthy. Eliminating it altogether would make life just not worth living. Lets not forget what a great source of calcium it is too. The great thing about buying a good blue (I used Kapiti's Awa blue) is that a little goes a long way in terms of flavour impact. The creaminess and flavour given by the blue just adds that extra oomph to the soup, without it this would just be a hot and salty green smoothie.
I used a golden kumara (sweet potato) rather than an orange or a red. I didn't want to dull down the green from the broccoli but worst case scenario just use whatever you have on hand. The kumara makes it lovely and slightly sweet which complements the cheese nicely. My brother thought it was great so it must be true!
My vege shop often has bruised or damaged produce and sells it on the cheap. I managed to get a bag of four courgettes for a little under $3. Sure I had to chop the end off one of them but at the end of the day they didn't need to look pretty, they were about to be blended into a soup. Watch out for similar deals at yours, the discount table is often where I find my inspiration.
Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup
1 large head of broccoli, chopped up including the stalk (save a few florettes for decoration)
3 courgettes, halved lengthways and sliced
1 medium sized golden kumara (sweet potato), diced into 1cm cubes
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic
Splash of olive oil
1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons of vegetable stock
3 cups hot water
50g blue cheese, crumbled plus extra to garnish
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt (optional)
Salt and pepper
Saute the onion in a large saucepan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. As it starts to soften add in the garlic, cayenne pepper and thyme and continue to cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the cubes of kumara, courgette slices, vegetable stock and water, bring to the boil for twenty or so minutes until the kumara has softened.
Toss the broccoli into the broth, pop on a lid and continue to boil away for another ten minutes until the broccoli has turned bright green.
Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and blitz until smooth. A stick blender will also work. Return the soup to the saucepan and over a low heat crumble through the cheese and let it melt into the soup.
Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan until lightly golden and crisp. Slice a couple of the left over broccoli florettes into flat pieces then cook in boiling water for no more than two minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop them from cooking further.
Serves up the soup into bowls, swirl over some yoghurt, place the broccoli slices on the top, sprinkle over the seeds and crumble over a little more cheese.