Kitchen Experiments – Creamy Beany Broccoli Soup

I love soup! I love soup in the winter, spring, summer or fall. I love soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Any time of day, any time of year! I love brothy soups, creamy soups, or loaded with stuff soup. I just plain love soup! I am usually not a follow the recipe kind of a soup maker, I am usually just a throw it in the pot and see what happens kind of a soup maker. However, there are several recipes that have made it into my repertoire when I am in the mood to follow a recipe. The “Creamy Broccoli Soup” by Cynthia Lair from her Feeding the Whole Family cookbook has been one of my favorites since I had Cynthia as a teacher at Bastyr University while getting my masters in nutrition. The only problem that I had with this recipe was that it did not have a significant amount of protein in it. As I said, I like to have soup for breakfast, especially when I am working, but I like it to have protein so that it holds me over for the morning and I don’t spike my blood sugar. So, I decided to tweak the recipe just a little.

soup

Creamy Beany Broccoli Soup

2 large stems of broccoli with flowerets

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 leeks, white part mainly with 1 inch of green top, cleaned and chopped

1/2 t. sea salt

1 tsp. coriander

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

5 celery stalks, chopped

4 – 4 ½ c. water

2 Tbs. cashew butter

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Cut off the broccoli flowerets, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place flowerets in small saucepan with a little water on the bottom. Steam for 5 minutes, until the color just starts to change. Peel the broccoli stems and dice into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a 3-quart pot. Add onions, leeks, salt, and coriander. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion/leek mixture cooks down to a nice mush (10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Add the broccoli stem pieces, potatoes, cannellini beans, celery, and water to the onion mush; cover and simmer until the potatoes are soft (15 to 20 minutes).
  4. Put the soup mixture in a blender, or use a hand blender, with cashew butter and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 servings

I hope that you will try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Happy cooking!

Kitchen Experiments – Millet “Pizza” with Greens

Growing up in an Italian household, my Mom would make something that she called polenta pizza.  I am not sure why they called it pizza but it must have something to do with the italian word for pizza because pizza it was not!  It was more like a thick polenta with a delicious crust on the outside and a firm center.  She always made it with minestra which is basically greens and beans.  In recent years she has made it when my uncle would come to visit as a bread substitute since he has celiac and can’t eat wheat or gluten. As a kid, I did not like the greens and beans but I loved the polenta pizza.  We would eat it with maple syrup making it more like a dessert.

Since doing the ALCAT plan, I have not been able to have corn, cornmeal or polenta but I can have millet, which when ground is pretty similar to cornmeal. So I decided to give millet pizza a try.  What I love about this pizza is the crusty exterior!  It is very simple to make and yet versatile and delicious.  My family and I still love it smothered with real maple syrup.

millet pizzaTo make the pizza, you need to have a cast iron skillet.  Well, maybe not need, but I think the crust is best when cooked in a cast iron skillet.  Basically you make a thick polenta or millet by cooking 1 cup ground millet or cornmeal with 2 cups water.  Spray or grease your cast iron skillet with olive oil and then spread the millet or polenta in the skillet and spray or grease the top of the mixture as well.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 35 – 45 minutes, then flip the pizza to crust up the other side. Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.  I found the cooking time to be a little less with the millet than with the polenta.  Serve warm!

When I made it the other night for dinner, I sautéed escarole with some sun-dried tomatoes and butternut squash and then added cannellini beans and served it on the side with the millet pizza.  It was delicious.

millet and greensFor dessert we had millet pizza with maple syrup!  It brought back some good childhood memories.  Enjoy!