Broccoli Soup with Roasted Almonds

On a Monday I like pacifying my conscience by cooking a super healthy soup to make up for any extra calories I eat (or drink) over the weekend.

I opened my fridge and noticed the big broccoli head I bought from the garden shop last Friday.

For a long time, the nutritional benefits of broccoli were overlooked.  Nowadays, there is more awareness about the importance of greens in our diets and broccoli is one superfood which is used more often.

Ideally, you eat it raw or lightly steamed.  However if you have to cook it, keep the cooking time to a minimum and benefit from the whole head – florets, leaves and stalks.

In this recipe, I make it a point to capture the nutrients lost through cooking into a hearty soup. Very often, broccoli soup contains cream or a strong cheese.  I chose to thicken my soup by adding root vegetables and compliment the broccoli with roasted almonds.

Broccoli Soup with Roasted Almonds

Ingredients

1 large broccoli head

1 large onion

2 carrots

2 potatoes

½ cup almond milk (unsweetened)

750 – 1 ltr vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup roasted almonds

Method

  1. Wash and chop the vegetables. Peel the stalk of the broccoli and chop.
  2. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until it gets a golden brown tinge at the edges.
  3. Add the chopped carrots and potatoes, stir and sauté for 3-4 minutes. If the mixture is dry, add half a cup of vegetable stock and stir.
  4. Add the broccoli florets, chopped broccoli leaves and stalks. Mix well and sauté for further 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add enough stock without covering the vegetables (adding too much stock will make the soup watery).
  6. Bring soup to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until root vegetables are tender.
  7. Cool slightly, and process partially with a hand blender. (If you prefer a completely smooth soup, you can process all the soup in food processor).
  8. Stir in the almond milk and warm gently without bringing soup to the boil.
  9. Serve in warmed soup plates with a sprinkle of roughly chopped roasted almonds on top.

 

Roast Root Vegetables

How to make Roast Root Vegetables

Do you like root vegetables?  Do you use them often?  I used to use them sparingly, until on New Year’s Day I decided to roast a selection of root vegetables as a side dish.  It was devoured!  Some members of my family got up for second helpings of vegetables.

Since then, roasted root vegetables have become one of my staples for Sunday lunch.

Are root vegetables good for you?

The yellow-orangish root vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are loaded with beta-carotene, which is either converted into vitamin A in the body or acts as an antioxidant protecting you against harmful free radicals.

Beetroots are super good for you.  They are very high in iron and folate.  They also contain nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants.  Recent studies suggest that beetroots can help lower blood pressure.

Fennel is another bulbous vegetable which is high in vitamin C and fibre.  It has a sweet taste of licorice. The entire plant is edible and it makes a fresh, crunchy addition to salads.  Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetable, although admittedly it loses some of its nutrients through cooking.

Are root vegetables good for diabetics?

Some root vegetables are higher in sugars than others.  Or shall I say, they have a high GI which means their sugars enter the blood stream quickly.  However, eaten in small to moderate amounts and accompanied by foods, predominantly high in fibre, the effect of the sugar content is slowed down, significantly.

To accompany the roasted root vegetables, today I chose an ingredient which is high in protein and fibre – pasta made with red lentil flour. I also added zucchini to help digestion and add ‘green’ to my plate.

Lentil Pasta with Roast Root Vegetables
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

An unusual plate of pasta bulked up with sweet roast vegetables and zucchini. I served it warm, but it is equally tasty served at room temperature.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: legumes, Plant-based
Servings: 2 people
Author: Colette Cumbo
Ingredients
  • 160 grms Pasta made with red lentil flour
  • 190 grms Sweet potato
  • 100 grms New potatoes
  • 120 grms Onions
  • 150 grms Carrots
  • 150 grms Parsnips
  • 250 grms Fennel bulb
  • 300 grms Zucchini
  • 40 grms Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 240o C. Peel the onions, scrub the root vegetables and chop into equal size pieces. Do not peel the garlic head.

  2. Line a roasting dish with heavy duty foil and place the vegetables in a single layer.  You may need to use a couple of dishes, but keep vegetables in a single layer, because otherwise they steam not roast.

  3. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with ground cumin, coriander and pepper.  

  4. Roast in warm oven for 25-30 minutes, turning vegetables over every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.

  5. Whilst roasting the vegetables, bring a small pot of water to the boil.  Add 1/2 tsp of cooking salt and add the pasta.  Stir, and follow cooking instructions on the packet.  (The pasta I used required 5-7 minutes for al dente pasta).  Drain.

  6. When the vegetables are roasted, peel the garlic and add the cloves to the rest of the vegetables.  Serve with warm pasta and a good sprinkle of chopped parsley.

    Roast Root Vegetables
Recipe Notes

Nowadays, supermarkets carry various gluten free pasta.  I opted for one made from red lentil flour. It has no other flour added.  

If you do not wish to use gluten free pasta, the recipe works well with wholegrain pasta.

You may add a tablespoon of dressing (extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard) to your pasta.  This is optional as the roasting juices from the vegetables are enough to dress the pasta.