A double duty, soup and salad combo for dinner tonight. The salad being a simple, fresh, clean tasting Heirloom tomato salad with fresh basil, radish and arugula, all tossed together with a mustard vinaigrette. This is a typical Sunday evening dinner at my home, whenever I go shopping to my favourite farmers market at the Marina on Sunday mornings. I get thoroughly inspired by the amazing, fresh bounty of vegetables and fruits, brought in by the local farmers. I just feel healthy and energetic, by simply savoring the abundance of fresh produce, through my eyes! See healthy, be healthy and do healthy- by whipping together a nutritious, nourishing, wholesome and sustaining meal, beneficial for the body, mind and soul.
Today’s menu includes an all vegetarian meal- Creamy broccoli soup, without the heavy cream. Just a base of white sauce, a teeny bit of Parmesan cheese (quite like a garnish, frankly) and the goodness of fresh vegetables and herbs. An easy salad to put together, along with a super easy, no fuss vinaigrette. Voila! There you have it, my farmers market inspired, hot comforting soup and a cooling, refreshing salad!
Soup servings : 6
2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
A tablespoon or so of mild green chillies(optional). I used a mix of Shishito and Padron peppers, from my joint to the farmers market.
1 carrot, diced
Chopped onions – 1/2 cup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 potato, diced
A pinch, dried thyme
Milk – 2 cups
Water or vegetable stock – 2 cups
Flour – 1 tbsp.
Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish
Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish (expertly chopped by my little daughter!)
Olive oil – 2 tbsp.
Salt and pepper, to taste
Roast the broccoli florets with a bit of olive oil, for 10 minutes at 400 F.
Heat olive oil (add a tad of butter, entirely optional, if you are really on a healthy eating spree!) over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, potatoes, thyme. Add a little salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, sauté for another minute. Add the flour. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the milk.
On high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, keep stirring, then simmer on low for a few minutes till thick, similar to a white sauce consistency. Add the roasted broccoli.
Add water or vegetable stock. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Purée in a blender, when cool. Or use an immersion blender to blend the soup, can leave it a little chunky, or the desired consistency of your choice.
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as per taste. When serving, pour into soup bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh chives.
Salad servings : 4
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
Fresh basil – a handful
Fresh arugula – 2 cups
4 red radishes, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp.
White wine vinegar – 1 tbsp.
Dijon mustard – 1 tsp.
A dash of balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette, salt and pepper and set aside. Arrange the tomatoes, radish, arugula and basil on a platter. Just before serving, pour the vinaigrette. Serve chilled or at room temperature.