All hail kale! This recipe is the perfect fit for healthy and easy, and it happens to be winter, which is an excellent excuse for soup! Superfoods? Check. Budget-friendly? Check. Ridiculously low in calories? Check check. I’m so down for this! Instead of only using kale, I added spinach, onions, leeks, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, chickpeas, butter beans and chilli flakes. Sound good? It is! You can serve this yummy soup as a starter or main, for lunch or dinner. Here ya go…
Kale and Spinach Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 stems celery, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 leeks, sliced
200g baby kale, chopped
300g spinach, chopped
1 x 410g whole peeled tomatoes
1 x 410g butter beans
1 x 410g chickpeas
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups vegetable stock
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Making It Happen:
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and fry the onion, celery, garlic and leeks for 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in the spinach and kale, season with salt and simmer for 2 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock, tomatoes, broccoli and chilli flakes. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the spinach and kale have thoroughly wilted and the broccoli is soft.
Blitz in a food processor or using a handheld blender. Return to the pot and add the beans and chickpeas, simmering for 1 minute.
Add lemon juice and stir well. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
I never thought I’d see the day. Cauliflower mash instead of potatoes? No. Nope. Absolutely f-word-ing not! I thought it ghastly, recoiling at the very thought. Buuut you know, people change. At least, I started eating healthily, and thus decided not to judge, instead to rather be open-minded (and open-mouthed) to the healthier, cleaner alternatives. Yoga had a lot to do with this too, to be more mindful and conscious of what I’m putting in my body. Those two words – such yoga speak! Namaste (in the kitchen). The cook in me honours the cook in you.
Such began my adventure, and it’s been fun. Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring, and therein lay my problem with cauliflower mash. I mean, what does it even taste like? (I’m talkin’ about the version without lashings of butter.) Nothing, people, it tastes like a whole lotta nothing. Aaaand, coupled with the obvious reminder that it’s clearly not potatoes, presents a double insult. The solution is easy: Add stuff. Not butter though (sob) or sour cream (f-word), but healthy ingredients that don’t compromise its integrity (more yoga speak, seriously, I’m such a pro). When you eat food that’s naturally bland, it reminds you of its, well, nothingness, and therefore makes you (defo me) want other, unhealthier food. Obviously. But add some healthy ingredients, in this case leeks, enough garlic to repel your (my) husband for a few days (sorrynotsorry), fresh rosemary (from my garden no less, totes organic) and Dijon mustard, and you have a winner. The Husband is beyond obsessed with potatoes, like it’s abnormal that he thinks about them so much, but even he conceded that it was “really tasty” and admitted that he would eat it again. So, folks, I needed to share this with you. I used it as a potato substitute in cottage pie, but you can use it as a side dish just the same. Also, it’s easy, and I do love easy. Easy, healthy, yummy… the trifecta. I’m so #winning at life right now.
Cauliflower Mash with Leeks and Garlic
700g cauliflower, cooked until very soft
3 leeks, chopped
1 (very) heaped teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Making It Happen:
Cook the cauliflower, either by boiling or steaming it, until very soft.
Meanwhile, fry the leeks and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until cooked, about 5 minutes.
Mash the cauliflower very well, then add the leeks and garlic. Stir in the Dijon, mixing well, and the rosemary.
Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Give it one last hearty stir and serve hot.
Shiitake mushrooms add a woody flavour and meaty texture to a traditional creamy mushroom soup so if you’re looking for a little something extra, this is your guy. It involves frying and simmering and I use the same pot so it’s low on cleaning. I like the convenience factor! Delicious as a soup, this recipe can be used as a sauce too because when it boils down, it’s thick enough to pour over a juicy steak or tender chicken breasts. Versatility and convenience plus it takes half an hour and doesn’t require you to monitor it throughout, just the occasional stir once it’s simmering.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
120g shiitake mushrooms
400g white button mushrooms, chopped
6 leeks, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
750ml (¾litre) low sodium vegetable stock (1 stock cube/sachet to 750ml water)
250ml (1 cup) cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut the shiitake mushrooms into quarters and chop the white button mushrooms. Slice the leeks. On medium-low heat in a large pot, fry the leeks and shiitake mushrooms for five minutes. (You may remove half of the shiitakes at this point for garnishing if so desired.) Add the white button mushrooms and garlic and fry for another 10 minutes on medium-low. Pour in the stock and add the thyme, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the contents into a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the cream and simmer for five minutes. Splash in the lemon juice and flavour with salt and pepper. Garnish with the remaining shiitake mushrooms.