Cost: ~€0.50 – €2
Preparation and cooking time: ~10 minutes
Calories: ~60 per serving
First off, before I forget, I must announce the winner of my abstract photo contest which I ran through March! Three people got the answer correct, and so with a bit of help from the number generator at random.org I can reveal to you that the winner today, who correctly guessed that the photo was of my kettle – the whistle on the end of the spout to be precise, is Jean, from Delightful Repast. Congratulations Jean – I’ll be in touch shortly regarding your prize.
I’m now back from my travels to England. The journey home was, thankfully, hassle-free and we rocked up to our apartment at about 3pm. Five trips back and forth from the car later and everything was finally unpacked. As is always the way though I couldn’t relax then. No, there was shopping to be done, as the cupboards were bare, and the rental car had to be washed and fueled as I was due to take it back early the next day. Once that was all done then there was dinner to cook and laundry to put on but finally, finally, it was all done and I could sit down, crank out an espresso and relax!
As much as I enjoyed my holiday I usually use trips to England as an excuse to, pardon the pun, “go hog wild” with food… eating things in abundance which just don’t generally exist in France – pork pies for example – and while these things are delicious, they’re not good for the waistline. While I used to plough through such things with abandon in my youth, as one grows older and wiser it’s important to be a little bit more mindful. I gained some weight in England which has put a rather ugly peak in my otherwise nice downward trend of the last few months and I find myself craving light, easily-digestible, healthy meals which aren’t short on flavour right now.
I started making this really easy and quick soup a couple of weeks ago after a trip to the market yielded a great number of vegetables with wonderful greens – carrots, radishes, and kohlrabi to name but a few. Many people would normally discard the greens from such vegetables, or at most they might make stock out of them. I wanted to turn them into the main feature of this soup because their fabulously varied textures and appearances, and earthy, healthy flavours deserve to be fully appreciated.
I could call it the “trash soup”, since many of the ingredients here might find their way straight into the garbage, but that doesn’t sound nearly as appetising, so I’ll call this leafy delight a “waste-not-want-not” soup, since this really helps to reduce kitchen waste. For a bit of protein I try to add in some beans. The first time I made it I added marrowfat peas, which were really good. Any pea or bean would be great though as they give a wonderful texture. I think shredded pork or chicken might also be a fine addition for those die-hard carnivores amongst you. You can also add in some finely diced potato for some carbs, or simply serve with some scones, as I have here – the recipe for which I will post next time. The final touch of lemon juice adds a lovely zing to the stock and the end result is a soup which is deliciously light, ridiculously low on calories, and yet filling, satisfying, and richly flavoured
I hope you enjoy the rest of the post. I’ll be back next time with the scones but until then – have a nice week!
- ~2 litres of good Vegetable Stock
- 1 large Onion, or some spring onion greens (see below)
- The greens from various vegetables – I used the greens from a bunch of spring onions, leaves from a bunch of radishes, the tops of a bunch of carrots, several leaves of chard and a bunch of parsley. Spinach, kohlrabi greens, beetroot greens, and turnip greens also work well
- ~300g cooked Kidney Beans or other bean
- 1 Lemon
- 1tbsp Olive Oil
- Whether you’re using onion or spring onions, start by chopping them finely (spring onions) or peeling and dicing finely (regular onion). Heat the olive oil in a large soup pan and when hot add in the onion and sauté lightly for a minute or two until just starting to soften.
- Pour the stock into the pan with the onions and cover. Bring the stock to the boil and while it’s heating up thoroughly wash and roughly chop all the greens, removing any of the thickest, toughest stalks.
- Once the stock is boiling add in the vegetable greens and beans and cover the pan once more. Bring the stock back to the boil and as soon as it hits the boiling point remove the pan from the heat – you don’t want to overcook the greens as they will lose their colour and flavour otherwise.
- Serve into bowls, serve with a good wedge of lemon and enjoy!