Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In the Kitchen: Creamy (no cream) Broccoli Soup with Apple Loaf

Do you ever have those random "aha!" moments when a great recipe idea pops in your head? Mine happened while watching reruns of The Wire with Hub. I was craving a healthy hearty soup and thought broccoli cheddar soup with freshly baked apple bread. Broccoli & cheddar go together and cheddar & apples go together, so why not throw the lot together!

Inspired by this recipe from Eating Well, I tweaked it to include the ingredients already existing in my cupboard and available at my local. Bring all the ingredients below to a boil in a pot apart from the cheese. Then blend the ingredients with most of the cheese and leave a little for garnishing. I decided to only puree 3/4 of the pot, which left chunks of broccoli and beans to be discovered.

Ingredients for Soup
  • 3 cups of water 
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 6 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 can of cannellini beans or any bean
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves roughly chopped
Ingredients for Loaf
  • 1 1/2 cups of Heritage Wholegrain Flour
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 chopped small green apple

I decided to create a savory loaf with just a hint of sweetness and threw this recipe together. Combine all the dry ingredients, mix in the wet ingredients, then fold in the apple pieces. I dusted a 450g/1lb loaf tin with flower then spread in the batter. I had preheated my oven to 350°F/175°C and baked the loaf for 30 minutes.

I liked this recipe because it was healthy and so easy to make. The soup was delicious and the beans really made the dish. Not only do they add fiber, but they made the dish creamy. The cheddar cheese was a bit decadent and naughty, but not necessary especially if you are counting calories. The heritage flour made the bread really hearty, which I love. It was a tad on the dry side though, but worked well as Hub and I just crumbled into our soup. Next time I will up the olive oil and try a sweeter apple like Pink Lady.
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