Today's recipe was the product of a class I taught this evening at the Gloucester Loblaws Cooking School. It was very simple and was well received. Thanks to all those who attended,including my wife and son who were kind enough to attend and offer support and attention. I hope to see you all again. The original recipe had potatoes as a thickening agent for the soup but we changed it to parsnips and I preferred this final product much more. It added a touch of sweetness and depth to the flavours.
During the class, Donna, the coordinator of the cooking school, offered many of her own tidbits of knowledge. She is one of the most informative people I know when it comes to the nutritional benefits of all types of food. I continue to marvel at her knowledge every time we have a class together.
And so: broccoli is high in dietary fiber and vitamin C. Which I knew. But it also has many anti-cancer properties - which can be lost if overcooked. Which is fine with me. I like lightly blanched broccoli in lightly salted water as a side veg. And so she told the class that broccoli fights off cancer cells and helps DNA repair. How does one know this stuff off the crown of one's head?
And red peppers? She said green peppers are anemic compared to the nutritional value of the red pepper. Which works for me since they taste so much better. They contain high amount of vitamin C which is very coolis, but it is the anti-oxidants that are really beneficial. I may need to bring a notepad to all the classes we teach together. I shall call it "Who Knew-tricioius?"
Broccoli and Leek Soup with Red Pepper Coulis
Drizzle of Vegetable for frying
3 Cooking Onions, roughly chopped
1 Leek, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped
3 Parsnips, peeled, cut into chunks
3 Cloves of Garlic
Pinch of Dried Marjoram and Oregano
2 Bunches of Broccoli, cut into crowns
2 L Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1 Stick of Butter, cold, cut into cubes
Dollop of Greek Yogurt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red Pepper Coulis
3 Bell Peppers
Drizzle of Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a soup pot, heat oil on medium heat. Cook onion and parsnips for 5 minutes. Add leek and garlic and herb blend. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add broccoli and cook for 1 minute. Add stock. Bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Reduce to half boil and cook for 15 - 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to simmer and puree. Add butter and whisk in.
For Red Pepper Coulis, coat peppers in oil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and roast for 10 - 15 minutes or until charred. Place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes. Remove from bowl and remove char from peppers and remove seeds. Puree and season to taste.
Garnish with yogurt and drizzle of coulis.
Serves 8 - 10