Broccoli Stalk Soup

In the latest LEON book (LEON Fast and Free), Jane Baxter talks about “vegetable offal” which I think is a wonderful concept. You know the sort of thing; cauliflower leaves, carrot tops, or broccoli stalks perhaps. It’s an excellent way of using every part of the veggie, saving it from the scrap heap and fully appreciating all the resources that went into growing that ingredient. I know for me, when I’m purchasing organic items, I want to get my money’s worth!

Soup is my favourite way of using up odds and ends that are lurking in my fridge. When you make it with plenty of vegetables and a protein source, it’s a nutritious meal that’s cheap to make. This weekend, I had a big broccoli stalk and a few cubes of feta and an idea. I’m actually impressed it came together to form something that is quite delicious. The feta holds its own within the soup, adding a burst of flavour and intriguing texture. I don’t particularly eat a lot of bread, and I don’t miss it with this soup; it’s perfectly filling on its own.

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Broccoli Stalk Soup

Serves 1, generously

one broccoli stalk, sliced into small pieces

a couple broccoli trees, for colour

1 potato, peeled and diced

half an onion, peeled and chopped

a sprinkling of mixed herbs

500ml vegetable stock

salt and pepper

a few cubes of feta, saving a couple for the top

flaked almonds

Add all of the ingredients (apart from the feta and almonds) to a large pot and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.

Check that the vegetables are soft, then add to a blender and whizz until smooth.

Return the soup to a clean saucepan and season to taste. Stir in the majority of the feta, bring the soup back up to temperature then serve. Top with remaining feta, a few flaked almonds and some black pepper.

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What’s your favourite soup flavour? Do you save it to be enjoyed during winter? To be honest, I like it all year round, because there are few things better than a hot bowl of soup on a rainy day.

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