Broccoli and Walnut Soup
Broccoli and Walnut Soup
Broccoli and walnut soup is another of my vegetarian Winter Warmer recipes and is delicious as well as protein rich. Walnuts come into season in the late Autumn, and broccoli is available year round in the supermarkets. Actually, it is broccoli, walnut and feta soup; just add some crumbly cheese to the mix and you have a protein rich and delicious soup that will do really well as a starter or meal in its own right.
I prefer feta in mine because I have a problem with all cheese that has mould injected. The feta is not dangerous for me to eat but some are partial to stilton or cheshire cheeses. This delicious soup is also a wonderful way of getting greens into reluctant mouths. I add little broccoli florets to mine, but this is not really necessary for those fearful of green vegetables.
Need I say, both cheese and walnuts are high in serotonin which will naturally raise your spirits as Autumn brings on a dose of the Winter glooms? I promise you this recipe is both heartwarming and satisfying! As I write this, I have a pan of broccoli and walnut soup heating nice and gently on the hob. Just bear with me while I give it another stir!
All images in this lens are by Photahsiamirabel and should not be copied.
Making Broccoli and Walnut Soup - Saute broccoli stalks with some onion in walnut oil
When I make broccoli and walnut soup, I like to start by sauteing the stalks with some onion in a little oil. I prefer to use walnut oil, but any oil with a light flavour would do. Even butter works... I have already put the florets to soak in some water and saved a few cut up small for garnishing.
Making the sauce base for Walnut and Broccoli Soup - Using flour and milk to thicken
This is a similar technique to making a roux, but with the vegetables already in the pan. You add about 2 heaped tablespoons of flour and then a little milk on a lowish heat. You need to add about half a pint of milk very gradually and stir continually. At first it will be a very thick dough-like consistency, but keep adding and stirring with a wooden spoon until it is completely smooth and like double cream.
Broccoli and Walnut Soup - the sauce base - This is the base for thickening your broccoli and walnut soup.
To this, you will add about 100g of walnut halves. You could add walnut pieces, but in my experience they are no cheaper!
Adding the Walnuts to your Broccoli and Walnut soup - Add walnuts to the white sauce in the pan
You can use a whole packet, or just a few as I did here. Walnuts are very rich and this is enough to flavour the soup well, especially if you have used walnut oil in stage one!
Do you really hate eating your greens? Do your children flinch at the sight of broccoli?
Broccoli and Walnut Soup - ready to cook! - I have thinned the liquid in the pan....
Add about another pint to a pint and a half of liquid. I added water and a Knorr vegetable stock cube. I don't add much seasoning to this soup, because later I will add Feta cheese.
Adding the bigger broccoli florets to the soup - Walnut and Broccoli Soup - needs more broccoli!
Once I have thinned the liquid, I add the broccoli florets to it and cook until they have softened. Then I liquidise everything in a food processor and add a pack of feta cheese, cubed, this is quite salty so don't season just yet!
Broccoli and Walnut Soup - the final stages - Adding a little sweetcorn, a few fresh peas and the small broccoli florets for garnish
Once the soup is liquidised it does look a bit grey, so adding a few peas, broccoli florets and a little sweetcorn just gives it a lift. You may find the peas turn an odd shade of dark to black olive if cooked for too long. This is due to something in the walnuts and is harmless! I once cooked trout with bacon and walnuts and produced a colorful shade of purple that put me quite off the dish. If you ever handle unripe walnuts, prick them with a fork, soak them in brine aiming to make them into pickled walnuts they will turn from green to black with salt and turn your fingers brown!
If you have broccoli resistant kids, don't put the florets in!
Serving Broccoli and Walnut Soup - With sour cream and paprika to taste!
There you go! My supper, complete with fresh French bread and butter, garnished with a little sour cream and paprika to taste. I probably use more than you would because I love it! This soup is rich and tasty, it is full of crunchy bits that contrast with the smooth and it is VERY filling.
This broccoli and walnut soup is a firm favorite in our house, but then - gasp! - we actually LIKE broccoli.... We are as happy as pigs in... a pub???