February 19, 2011

(Super) Quick Fix Dinner: Broccoli Soup and Crazy Delicious Salad

Green soup? Well you have to try this one. It's fast, it's filling, it's healthy, and it's really, really good. Because it's cooked so quickly the flavors are really bright - fresh vegetables, lemon, drizzled with olive oil and toasted walnuts. Served with toasted baguette with some goat cheese, its a light meal. I know, this will sound too healthy and too green for some of you. But for those of you willing to try it, I think you'll really enjoy. And plus, if you're looking to make a soup, it doesn't get any easier than this.

I served this with what I'm calling Crazy Delicious Salad, because it really is. It's a mixture of bright, crunchy vegetables, chickpeas, a little spice and a simple, tangy dressing. It can be re-imagined any way you want it, adding different vegetables and other ingredients.

Recipes after the jump.

Broccoli Soup with Toasted Walnuts 

It's hard to give exact measurement s for this recipe, so be willing to adjust to suit your own tastes. Also, the fresher the broccoli, the better the soup will be, because its basically the only ingredient.

-1-2 large heads of broccoli, roughly broken into pieces (including stem)
-1/4 cup lemon juice (plus zest if you want it)
-1/2 cup olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/2 cup toasted walnuts

-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

-Remove the broccoli from the water, saving the water, and place the broccoli a blender or food processor. Add about 2 cups of the water to the blender so it fills it up about half way. Blend well.

-Add lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add more water if it is too thick.

-Place soup in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and freshly cracked pepper. Top with some walnuts and serve at once.


Crazy Delicious Salad 

-1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
-2 large carrots, shredded
-1 large cucumber, cut into small cubes
-1/2 cup chopped scallions or red onion
-1 avocado, in small cubes
-2 T. chopped Italian parsley
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1/2 t. chili powder or crushed chilies
-1/2 t. cumin seeds, crushed
-salt and pepper to taste

-Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve at once. That was easy.


And then...

Use leftover broccoli soup the next day as a pasta sauce warmed with a little cream and parmesan cheese.  Yum!