One way to get enough

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By Robert Harland

What’s Cooking?

Monday, June 2, 2014


LAST week I reported that nutrition experts are now saying that to maintain good health, we need seven portions of vegetables and fruits a day, and mostly vegetables at that.

That's a tall order for most of us, but an easy way to boost our intake of vegetables and enjoy doing it, is to eat plenty of soup made primarily with vegetables.

So this week, I'm going to give you some easy-to-follow recipes for delicious vegetable soups. You can adjust and experiment with all kinds of vegetables.

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Soups freeze easily and I usually make enough for six servings at a time.

Broccoli soup with blue cheese

Broccoli packs the most nutritional punch of any vegetable and is quite literally considered a miracle food. It's popular and it makes a delicious soup with an appetizing green color. For a tasty tang, stir in some cubes of blue cheese.

Ingredients
(Serves six)

2 onions, chopped
500 grams of broccoli spears, chopped
1 large courgette, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
25 grams butter
30 mL olive oil
2 liters vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper taste
Croutons to garnish

And, if you are adding cheese, 75 grams of any blue cheese, cubed.

Procedures

1. Put all the vegetables into a large saucepan, together with the butter and oil plus about 45 mL (3 tbsp) of stock.

2. Heat the ingredients until sizzling and stir well. Cover and cook gently for 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until all the vegetables soften.

3. Add the rest of the stock. Season and bring to the boil. Cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Strain the vegetables and reserve the liquid. Puree the vegetables in a blender and return them to the pan with the reserved liquid.

5: Bring the soup back to a gentle boil and stir in the cheese until it melts. Don't boil the soup too long or the cheese will become stringy. Season to taste and serve with croutons or crusty bread.

Variations: Try using cauliflower instead of broccoli in this recipe. Instead of blue cheese, why not try a slice of cheddar.

Spanish garlic and vegetable soup

This is a delicious, soothing soup. It's mild tasting but still has plenty of flavor.

Ingredients

(Serves six)

I tbsp olive oil
3 large carrots, chopped
1 medium cabbage
1 small cauliflower head
2 leeks sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (400 grams) diced tomatoes with juice
4 tsp tomato paste
1 liter water
1/4 cup of milk or cream
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper

Procedure

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot, cabbage, cauliflower and leeks. Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until cabbage wilts. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and continue to cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning. Stir in 2 cups of water, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Pour in the diced tomatoes and the remaining 2 cups of water, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3: Reserve 2 cups of the liquid, and puree the remaining soup in a blender. Return the blended mixture to the reserved liquid, and stir in milk or cream and butter. Return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 02, 2014.

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