It is cooling down here on the sunny Gold Coast in Australia, soup season is on it’s way. With winter looming we are starting to see cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage come in to season. On the weekend I picked up a large head of spray-free locally grown broccoli from the farmers markets and decided to experiment in the kitchen creating a deliciously creamy and easy to make soup.
Broccoli is simply bursting with nutrients. A compound found in broccoli known as sulforaphane has been shown to help fight and protect against cancer, improve blood pressure, help with kidney function, helps the body to detoxify, reduces inflammation, helps repair skin damage as well as reducing oxidative stress. It really is a superstar vegetable and when it’s in season broccoli is very affordable. Using the stalk of the broccoli and the leaves adds even more nutritional content to this soup.
To create a vegan soup and to make this soup deliciously creamy I have used cashew nuts made into a milk being a great source of minerals and a good source of protein. For extra protein ensuring this soup is a complete protein I have also added Spirulina and nori (seaweed) so overall this soup is not only an excellent source of protein but healthy fats, vitamins, minerals & fibre.
So on with this delicious recipe…..
3 cups chopped broccoli (including stalk and leaves)
1 cup raw cashews
1 brown onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. coconut or macadamia oil
4 cups filtered water (more for soaking cashews)
A small handful of nori pieces (optional)
1 tsp. Spirulina powder (optional)
1 tsp. sea salt (add more or less to suit taste)
A good twist of black pepper
A handful of coriander (more for garnish)
½ lime juiced
1. Soak cashews in enough water to cover the nuts for 30 minutes, rinse and blend with 1 cup of water in a high speed blender such as an OmniBlend until smooth with a milk like consistency (leave in blender)
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic until onion is soft
3. Add broccoli to the saucepan with 3 cups of water, salt and pepper, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer
4. While simmering add nori and Spirulina if using. Simmer for approx. 10 minutes being careful to not overcook the broccoli, you still want it firm not mushy (over cooking broccoli reduces the nutritional benefits)
5. Pour broccoli mixture into the blender with cashew milk. Add coriander and lime juice blending until soup is smooth & creamy
6. Serve immediately while still warm, garnishing with extra coriander
NB – If you do not have cashews or nut allergies you can substitute with 1 cup coconut milk
This soup will last up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge and can be stored in the freezer. For best results when frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight or while you’re at work, reheating on the stove top when ready to eat.