I am just not a fan of broccoli, it's not the taste, it just seems to do things to my system that I won't elaborate further on since this is a food blog, not a medical blog. Suffice it to say that I avoid it most of the time. So I was less than thrilled to find it popping up the last two weeks in my CSA box. In fact there were two small bunches or heads in this week's box alone. Not wanting to waste it, I decided to make some soup and since it has been a bit warm and muggy this week, a cold soup seemed like the way to to go. With some lemongrass and lemon juice to add some acidity and some lite coconut milk to make the texture creamy, I figured I could overcome my broccoli aversions with some Cold & Creamy Lemon-Broccoli Soup.
To accompany it, I had some leftover spicy pecans from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day and this post and decided to try the book's Chicken Salad with Apples, Grapes and Spicy Pecans, made into some chicken salad sandwiches on a whole wheat baguette. Normally I am in the "plainer the better" chicken salad camp, but this recipe sounded interesting and good. Since grapes were not looking great, I substituted some sweet little cherry tomatoes instead. With just a bit of light mayonnaise and served with a cup of the cold broccoli soup, it makes the perfect healthy and light lunch or dinner.
Cold & Creamy Lemon-Broccoli Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 2.5 quarts)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned well and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 2-inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
2 stalks lemongrass, peeled until you reach tender inner stalk, then bruised
3 cups vegetable broth, chicken stock or water
About 1 & 1/2 to 2 lbs broccoli, cleaned and chopped into pieces
juice of 2 lemons
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup lite coconut milk
plain Greek yogurt and chopped herbs to garnish
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add leeks, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until leeks are softened. Add broth and bring to a boil, add broccoli and cook uncovered over medium heat about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process in batches in blender or food processor until smooth, being careful with the hot liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, add coconut milk and blend again. Serve garnished with yogurt and fresh herbs.
Notes/Results: Good! I like the pairing of the lemon and broccoli and how the lemongrass and lemon juice liven up the soup. The leeks, garlic and ginger give it a nice flavor and the coconut milk does make it more creamy. Although it is good warm, the flavor comes out more when the soup is cold, making it a good warm-weather soup. This may just be a way for me to get all the wonderful Vitamin C, K & A from my dreaded broccoli.
Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Apples and Spicy Pecans
Adapted from Fresh Every Day, Sarah Foster
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup fruit chutney
4 cooked chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tart apple (such as Granny Smith or Pippin), peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh, flat leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup spicy pecans (recipe here)
Stir the mayonnaise, mustard, and chutney together in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, celery, apple, grapes, parsley, salt and pepper and toss gently. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Sprinkle the salad with the pecans just before serving.
Notes/Results: Yum! This is a great combination of flavors--I like the sweet, savory and spicy mix. For the chicken, I roasted a couple of breasts in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper but grilled, poached or rotisserie would work well too. As mentioned I replaced the grapes with little cherry tomatoes and I also reduced the amount of mayonnaise and used a light mayo, which you don't notice at all with the Dijon and the chutney. Other that that I left the recipe as is. This could be my new favorite chicken salad recipe.
And now let's see who is in the Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sunday Kitchen.
Lissaloo from One Step at a Time is back with this Chicken & Orzo Soup. Feeling like she was "slacking in the dinner making department" lately, Lissa found inspiration in a trip to the grocery store. Enlisting her "kitchen slaves" otherwise known as her daughters, to pull the stems off the spinach leaves, while she put her feet up. ;-) The soup won a thumbs up from her family, the only downside was no leftovers for Lissa's lunch.
Help me welcome a new face to Souper Sundays, Graziana at Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs), from Italy. Graziana made a Spanish classic, Garlic Soup, but instead of adding the usual chorizo, she made a vegetarian version. Thick and hearty, this soup is perfect served with some thin slices of cornbread. Thanks for joining us Grazinana!
Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness is here again with a drool-worthy Smoky Tomato Soup with Gruyere Toasts. She says it is an easy soup with lots of tomatoes, thyme and smoked paprika and with the gruyere topped toasts, makes a nice light lunch. Although good now, Stephanie says to wait until the tomatoes in your area are in season and at their peak for the full effect of this soup!
Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, went south of the border (I guess south of two borders since she is in Canada) for her take on a Mexican Easy Peasy Black Bean Soup for Two. Having been foiled by a bad Williams Sonoma recipe and scorched her dried beans, Natashya regrouped and used some handy canned beans to make this quick and simple soup. She says it was tasty and to reward herself, she served it with some icy Mango Margaritas!
Long weekends and business trips can't stop Ulrike at Küchenlatein from making her weekly soup! This week her son requested a tomato soup so she made a Provencal Tomato Soup with Poached Eggs from her slow cooker. Her son and friends liked the soup but thought it was a bit too "orangy" but Ulrike liked the addition of the orange zest and she loved how easy this soup was to make in the slow cooker too.
Back for her second week of Souper Sundays is Kristen from Whatcha Eatin'? This week she has a bright, sunshine-colored bowl of Curried Cauliflower Soup to share. Similar to a mulligatawny, Kristen says this healthy puree of cauliflower, sweet potato, rice and spices is a "flavorful, delicious soup", and although good the first day, it was even better the next.
Some delicious soups this week! Thanks to everyone who joined us and Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there. If you have a soup or a salad or sandwich to share, join us for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sunday. You can get the details by clicking on the Souper Sunday logo on the side bar.
Have a wonderful week and don't forget to enter my giveaway for a Hawaiian cookbook and black lava finishing salt this week. The details are here.