Broccoli and cauliflower garlic soup
This is a soup I've been making since I was a teenager. It's one of those standby recipes that's imprinted in my memory bank so I never need to look up the ingredients. It's incredibly easy to make and you don't need to concern yourself with exact measurements. And don't worry about the large chunks of garlic - this is what gives the soup it's unique and super flavourful dimensions.
Broccoli and cauliflower eaten on their own can be little bland. However, turning them into soup completely transforms their flavour so even those who normally wouldn’t touch a broccoli stalk or a cauliflower head, will be suitably impressed.
The addition of smoked ham gives the soup an added depth, but leaving it out doesn’t detract from the overall flavour. Omitting the ham makes this soup suitable for vegetarians and if you swap the milk for almond milk you have a vegan soup.
2 large broccoli crowns and stalks
Half a large cauliflower
1 medium white onion
5 cloves garlic
2 litres Vegetable stock
250ml of milk
1 dessert spoon olive oil
Smoked ham (4 slices)
2-3 medium potatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
Chop the onion into even sized chunks and slice the garlic cloves thinly.
Chop the broccoli and cauliflower stalks into even sizes or around an 3cm / 1 inch square, then separate the florets.
Peel the potatoes and chop them into even sized chunks.
Slice or tear the smoked ham into bite sized pieces.
Gently heat the olive oil in a large saucepan then add the onions and garlic and cook on a low heat for a minute or two until the onion is opaque.
Slowly stir in your vegetable stock, any will do, and bring to a boil.
Tip in the chopped potatoes, vegetable stalks and smoked ham then bring back to a simmer.
Slowly add the milk and again, bring back to a low simmer. Take care, as if you heat it up too quickly it may boil over.
Once the contents are simmering again, add the broccoli and cauliflower florets and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Now let it all simmer away for around 20-30 minutes, partly covered with a lid, while giving it a quick stir every 10 minutes.
Once your soup is cooked, leave it to stand for a few minutes without the lid before serving.
If you prefer a chunkier soup, dish it up at this stage. But if you like a smoother, creamier soup, you can always blend it and stir in a little extra milk for a creamier texture.
Cooking vegetables means losing some of their valuable nutrients. However, with soup, you're eating the liquid which is full of those vitamins and minerals.
This soup contains plenty of garlic which is anti inflammatory, acts as an antioxidant, helps boost immunity and can lower risk of heart disease. Plus it adds so much flavour to our meals.
Broccoli and cauliflower are both cruciferous vegetables and have a similar nutrient profile. These include their cancer preventing properties, fibre for gut and bowel health and are low in calories, plus many other wonderful nutrients.
Make it vegetarian by leaving out the ham; make it vegan by swapping milk for dairy free milk of your choice.