This is the recipe of my "winter greens" the one I used in the spring term for the school lunches, filled with energy required to help us see out winter, made with seasonal veg that naturally grow in the UK in that season.
Serves about 6 portions
1.5kg Frozen peas (Petits Pois, but you can use other ones)
200g Baby Spinach
2 Sprigs of parsley (optional)
Salt to taste (about 2/3 tblspn)
Pepper to taste (about 2/3 tblspn)
2 Veg stock pots (I used knorr stock pots)
1 big Onion
4 cloves of Garlic
4 tblspns Cooking Oil(or switch out for melted butter/vegan butter)
a couple of table spoons of cream/vegan cream for garnishing (optional)
-Peel, wash and roughly chop the onion into chunks.
-Peel, wash and quarter the garlic.
-Remove any leaves from the broccoli, chop it into small sized chunks including the stem, and wash. (cut the tops in to one similar sized piece and bottoms into one similar sized piece)
-Wash the kale (roughly chop it if it is in big leaves).
-Wash the spinach
-In a small, heavy bottom pot/pan, drizzle in the oil and add the roughly chopped up onion and garlic and pepper.
-On medium flame, cook the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes (or until the onion is transparent).
Leave to cool on the side.
For the next step a steamer is the most ideal choice of equipment, but as it is not a very common household equipment I will be describing how to do the following steps with just a standard pot. However, if you do have a steamer/ or pot with an in built colander please do use it as its most helpful. In the following steps we will be blanching all the veg, to bring out a vibrant green colour and just soften enough to blend nicely.
-On a high flame, place a medium, high sided, heavy bottom pot filled with about 5 cups of water add the salt and bring to the boil.
-Once the water has come to a boil add in the chopped broccoli.
*IMPORTANT DO NOT COVER THE POT WITH A LID! *
-We are going to blanch cook it for about 3-4 minutes, this should result in giving a beautiful vibrant green and the broccoli should just start to soften slightly.
-Turn down the heat for safety, using a large slotted metal straining spoon carefully remove the broccoli from the water into a colander, do not drain away the water as you will use it to cook the rest of the veg.
-Run cold water through your broccoli to stop the cooking process.
-Leave it to drain/cool on the side
-Next turn back up the heat for your pot of hot water, and add in the prepped kale, carefully swish around for 40-50s using your metal straining spoon.
-Turn down the heat and carefully remove the kale using your metal straining spoon into a colander, do not drain the water away, you still need it.
-Run cold water through the kale to stop the cooking process.
-Next place the peas (either from frozen or defrosted) into your pot of water along with the vegetable stock cubes and turn up the heat to medium-high. If using frozen once the peas have softened cook for 2-3 minutes, then switch off the flame. If cooking pre-defrosted cook for 3-4 minutes, then switch off and remove from the heat source.
-Next add washed baby spinach leaves and torn up leaves of the washed sprigs of parsley and stir in with the peas.
-Leave to cool enough to blend (DO NOT COVER!), generally about 40 minutes or so is enough, but it is important to follow your blender manufacturer's guidelines.
-Blend all the veg and the onion garlic mix in batches as per your blender manufacturer's guidelines.
-Decant the blended batches into a large, high sided, heavy bottom pot, one which will safely hold all the soup with room for it to come to a boil.
-Once it is all blended to a smooth consistency, put back on a medium/high heat. (If you find the soup to be too thick, add some more water until you are happy with the consistency).
*IMPORTANT DO NOT COVER THE POT WITH A LID!*
-Once the soup comes to a boil, switch off and serve hot/warm either with bread and butter or plain.
(you can garnish with a couple of table spoons of cream/vegan cream, a few leaves of parsley and a twist of freshly ground pepper).
When cooking greens it is important not to over cook them or cover them, as they will loose there beautiful vibrant green colour. Greens if not eaten straight away, should not be covered until cooled. If you must cover it, its best to use a fly screen, this allows the food to stay safe without compromising it, as the fly screen will allow the steam to escape.
If you would like to freeze the soup, you can do so by freezing after blending, but before you re-heat it. The soup can be kept in the freezer for up to a year, but best to consume sooner rather than later to maximise the nourishment from its nutrients.
Aside from eating veggies raw, which is best, eating veg straight away after preparing them ensures you can optimise your nourishment from them.
me-the children's chef
My recipes are not about the show stopper artworks...for me its all about satisfied tums and satisfied mums!