Cream of broccoli soup

cream of broccoli soup

cream of broccoli soup

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
Recipe type: starter
Cuisine: australian
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
A satisfying and hearty soup that's pretty easy to make (cheap too)
  • 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
  • salt/pepper
  • 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
  1. Prepare all the vegetables by cutting them into similar sizes
  2. Sweat the vegetables in a large saucepan with the oil, butter and garlic over moderate heat for 15 min - stirring often
  3. Add enough hot water and stock to cover generously (I don't like thick soup)
  4. Add the parsley leaves and simmer the vegetables for 15 min or until cooked
  5. Let the vegetable soup cool a little before blending (I used a food processor)
  6. Add the cream or milk (use more cream if you like it extra creamy)
  7. Season and consider extra spices (fennel seeds would be nice)
  8. Fry the sausage meat and croutons together so the bread absorbs the sausage flavour (optional)
  9. Serve with a dob of cream or creme fraiche
I was given some very good advice from a real life chef who suggested using the broccoli stem only for the initial cooking and adding the flowers at the last minute, this way the soup keeps a vibrant colour! Thanks Chef!

delicious soup

delicious soup

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.


Chicken soup

Well it certainly is soup weather and this week it’s all about chicken soup – first a golden, chicken ball & noodle soup and another of green curry, coconut and chicken. Both soups have an asian style broth base and are served with noodles, vegetables, chicken pieces and minced chicken balls. You could use thigh fillets, a whole chicken or a couple of chicken marylands to make the stock, it depends what is on special. You’ll need about 350gm of minced chicken to make the balls, you can use the mince as it is or add some flavours such as herbs or spices (I added some delicate fennel fronds and some spice mix) for that extra touch.

Chicken soup
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
A brothy chicken soup full of vegetables, noodles and chicken pieces - to warm the body and soul.
  • 4 chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery greens
  • 1 tin creamed corn
  • ½ large head of fennel sliced finely
  • ½ bunch chopped coriander
  • 1 leek finely sliced
  • 1 whole cob corn (corn kernels removed from the cob)
  • 1 large carrot finely grated
  • 1 small swede finely grated
  • 1 tbs chicken stock powder (I use Massel)
  • 1 tbs finely chopped ginger
  • 3 small capsicums chopped (red, yellow, orange)
  • ½ baby wombok cabbage finely chopped
  • 1 bok choy (sliced)
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 150 gm vermicelli
  • salt/pepper
  • 350 gm minced chicken
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 tbs chilli sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbs oil - frying the chicken
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 bruised piece of lemon grass
  • Sesame oil & coriander leaves for garnish
  1. Brown the chicken thighs on high heat in the oil in a large stock pot
  2. Add the prepared vegetables, ginger, garlic and fry for a few minutes
  3. Add the curry powder and stock powder and cook for 2 min
  4. Add enough hot water with the tin of creamed corn to cover the vegetables and chicken plus a bit more and simmer until the chicken is cooked through
  5. Add more water if needed
  6. Chop the chicken into small portions and return to the soup - simmer
  7. Roll the chicken mince into small balls the size of cherries and place into the simmering soup
  8. Add seasonings such as lime juice, fish /chilli sauce, salt and pepper
  9. Cook the vermicelli pasta in the soup (you may need to add a little more hot water)
  10. Remove the curry leaves, lime leaves and lemon grass
  11. Adjust seasonings and serve with garnishing of sesame oil and coriander leaves

I didn’t make the stock first for this soup (cheats soup) as I usually do but it worked out fine, full of flavour and a nice colour too! My next chicken soup was tinged green – using green vegetables (apart from corn and swede), and with the addition of a small tin of coconut milk, green chillies and curry paste (I made a stock out of a whole chicken and vegetable offcuts/scraps and used some of the meat as well as chicken mince balls to make up the finished soup). Both soups were delicious!


Spicy pumpkin soup and romanesco broccoli

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The perfect antidote for this wintery weather is staying indoors cooking – soup was on the menu today (spicy pumpkin and a ham hock and vegetable soup). I had a lovely time singing along to some rather loud music (Ben Harper) cooking to my hearts content. If you decide to try my spicy pumpkin soup recipe I strongly recommend you put on some of your favourite sing along music too.

Spicy pumpkin soup
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
A spicy vegetable soup to warm you up on a cold winter's day
  • 3 sticks of celery sliced
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 40g lemon grass stalks
  • 100g red bull pepper or capsicum (optional) chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 25g ginger chopped
  • 4 red hot chillies chopped (optional)
  • 4 carrots chopped into slices
  • 50g peanut butter or peanuts chopped
  • 600g pumpkin cut up into chunks
  • ½ swede chopped
  • 300g potatoes or sweet potatoes chopped
  • 2 dessertspoons curry powder
  • 2 tsp massel vegetable stock powder or cubes
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • salt/pepper
  • ¼ cream
  • 1 tablespoon of saharan spice mix (from Wildings in St Leonards)
  1. In a large saucepan place all the ingredients except the cream and spice mix
  2. Saute gently for at least 10 minutes before adding enough water to cover the vegetables and a bit more (I like thin soup rather thick)
  3. Cook on moderate heat until the vegetables are soft
  4. Remove the kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and curry leaves
  5. Cool for a while and then puree with a stick blender, in a food processor or in a blender
  6. Place back on the stove and add the cream, spice mix and season to taste
  7. Cool and store in the refrigerator or freezer

We dug up the horseradish patch today and replanted some in a new sunny position, I now have some lovely horseradish roots to freeze, use fresh and maybe put some in oil. Pasta man cooked a beef rib roast in the Webber and I experienced freshly grated horseradish on my steak for the first time ever (it was a lovely accompaniment).

I picked the first of our romanesco broccoli plants today and Pasta man thinned out some baby carrots and golden beets- what a lovely combination to have with the beef  for dinner.

horseradish root

horseradish root