I haven’t been able to get to my blog as much as I would like to of late but I’ve been busy cooking and not gardening much (well it’s winter and the garden is in hibernation – maybe I am too). I just looked out the window to see a very brightly coloured parrot eating some beetroot leaves I threw out into the garden earlier. I hope he/she doesn’t come back and start eating the garden greens though, it’s always a battle getting the balance right with the wild life and insects. When we lived in the bush it hardly seemed worth all the effort to have wallabies, kangaroos, possums, rats, birds and foxes helping themselves to our produce. I’ll never forget the amazing apples we grew one year, I’ve never tasted anything like those apples, they practically exploded in your mouth as you ate them, well the next year the wildlife found them and that was the end of our wonderful apples. It’s much easier to grow food here in Portarlington, it would be nice to have a bit more land though!
It is still very much soup weather and this week I wanted to make a cream of broccoli soup using the last of the romanesco broccoli, some leeks and potatoes. I served it plain and also with a few crispy croutons and spicy sausage crumbs for an added zing!
|Cream of broccoli soup|| |
- 500gm romanesco broccoli (or other broccoli/cauliflower) yes use the stem too!
- 2 large leeks (white part only)
- 3 potatoes
- ½ fennel bulb
- ½ swede
- 3 garlic cloves
- bunch of parsley
- ¼ cup of cream or milk
- 1 tbs Massel or other good quality stock powder or liquid (I used vegetable)
- ½ spicy sausage skin removed (opt) - I used an Istra sausage which is fennel flavoured
- few slices of nice bread to make croutons (opt)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Prepare all the vegetables by cutting them into similar sizes
- Sweat the vegetables in a large saucepan with the oil, butter and garlic over moderate heat for 15 min - stirring often
- Add enough hot water and stock to cover generously (I don't like thick soup)
- Add the parsley leaves and simmer the vegetables for 15 min or until cooked
- Let the vegetable soup cool a little before blending (I used a food processor)
- Add the cream or milk (use more cream if you like it extra creamy)
- Season and consider extra spices (fennel seeds would be nice)
- Fry the sausage meat and croutons together so the bread absorbs the sausage flavour (optional)
- Serve with a dob of cream or creme fraiche
I’m really enjoying brussells sprouts lately, I’ve roasted, fried, mashed, boiled and made soup with them – YUM! We’ve got some growing but they aren’t exactly thriving, hopefully we’ll have some homegrown brussells one day soon.