"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

July 21, 2010

Creamy Broccoli and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk

Ok...I know it's summer, and people don't typically think of eating a steaming bowl of creamy soup when it's hot and sunny outside. But hey, like everyone else, I go to work everyday and soup has always been a tried and true staple for my weekday lunches. And it's always nice to have a couple servings of soup lying around in the freezer for those nights when cooking something for dinner sounds like torture!

A few weeks back we visited the farmers market here in Ottawa and I got so excited by all the fresh greens available!! I decided to buy a bunch of broccoli and spinach, not knowing yet what I was going to do with them.

At home, I found a recipe for a creamy broccoli and spinach soup and that was that! The recipe however, called for milk as the creamy base so I decided to use coconut milk instead. I also added some red lentils to add additional thickness and to boost the protein and fiber content of the soup. The result was fantastic!! This creamy soup is now one of our favourites! As can be expected - the coconut milk is the real star here...but if you'd like to reduce the fat content, feel free to use light coconut milk, or just reduce the amount and compensate with more veggie stock.

Pair this soup with some whole grain crusty bread for a filling and complete meal. Feel free to play with garnishes as well, I've used sunflower seeds here, but you could use any nut/seed really, or croutons, or fresh herbs, or crackers... you get my point!

Eating a big steaming bowl of greens will make anyone feel healthy - thereby making that sweet treat you've been craving all day a guilt-free dessert!

1 onion, chopped roughly
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup red lentils
12 oz broccoli (about 4 cups) cut into florets
8 oz fresh spinach, packed (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups)
4 cups vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pepper to taste

- Saute onion and garlic in oil until lightly cooked - about 5-7 min.
- Add red lentils and cook 1-2 min
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a few minutes to get the lentils cooking.
- Add broccoli and simmer until broccoli and lentils are tender - about 10-15 min depending on size of florets
- When broccoli is fork tender, add spinach, coconut milk, nutmeg and pepper. Cook spinach for 2-3 minutes until wilted.
- Use a blender to blend soup (really well) in batches until all the soup is smooth.


This recipe was heavily adapted from Susannah Blake's 500 Soups: The Only Soup Compendium You'll Ever Need