Late this morning, as I stood in front of my open refrigerator, I wondered what on earth I would make for today’s lunch. I couldn’t help but notice that I had a lot of green onions – they have been included in every CSA box since the deliveries started in June and I have not been able to use them all up before the subsequent week’s delivery, so there were A LOT! After searching for some recipes online, I decided to make a Creamed Green Onion & Broccoli Soup Sans Cheese (from Group Recipes), Green Onion Pancakes (from delicious days), and Green Onion Quick Bread (from Best Recipes Ever).

The soup was a big hit with everyone, even the children. It is quite similar to the Broccoli Leek Soup I posted not too long ago, though it is a little more indulgent than the leek version because it calls for butter, which along with flour and milk, is used to thicken this soup. I even had fresh broccoli from my latest CSA box delivery from just a couple of days ago, so the flavour of the soup was outstanding. I used some of my homemade chicken stock from the freezer, to which I barely add any salt, so this soup was definitely as low sodium as you can get! If you do not have any homemade chicken stock on hand, I recommend using PC Blue Menu Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock. The recipe suggests pureeing the soup only slightly, so there are still broccoli pieces in the soup, however knowing my children’s aversion to chunky soups, I opted to puree the soup until all the vegetables were liquified. I love it when my children say, “Mami, make this again!” and that’s exactly what they were saying today!

I actually started preparing the Green Onion Pancakes first (though why they’re called pancakes is beyond me, since they resemble more a flatbread). Despite the blogger’s command to, “make them now, you won’t regret it”, I quickly became skeptical that these would turn out (I mean, hot water added to flour and  a little salt hardly sounds or looks appetizing, I don’t care how many green onions you add to it!). So while I put the dough to rest for 30 minutes as per the recipe’s instructions, I decided I’d better make the quick bread, too (besides, I still had lots of green onions available)! The quick bread looks so tasty in the picture on the website, and everything I have ever tried making from “Best Recipes Ever” has always been a success, so I thought for sure it would be a winner. Well, the quick bread tasted quite bland and I was so glad I had continued making the “pancakes”, because they were truly amazing  to the point that I will overlook the fact they are made entirely with white flour and are fried in oil, which is so not in line with the purpose of this blog! Given that the quick bread has whole wheat flour and is baked (not fried), I will try it one more time, except I’ll add a little more salt and some (or maybe lots of) grated cheddar cheese.

So, if you have a bunch of green onions and broccoli in your fridge, I highly recommend making this soup. And if you have a little extra time on your hands and would like to try out something different, I highly recommend making the “pancakes” to accompany the soup. If you decide to make the quick bread with my modifications, please let me know how it turns out!

Here are a few photos of my “in-progress” lunch preparations:

This is the soup just before I pureed it, thickened it, and simmered it for 5 more minutes.

 

These are the “pancakes” just before I added the green onions and then fried them in olive oil.

 

This is the quick bread before I placed it onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and baked it in the oven for 35 minutes.

Are you part of a CSA? What is your favourite part about receiving your box of vegetables?!

Broccoli Leek Soup

May 2, 2012

Soups are a great way to incorporate vegetables into your diet, and most soups can be prepared quickly. Here is one of my favourite vegetable soup recipes, which can be found on page 66 of “The Oprah Magazine Cookbook”. Personally, I think the best way to enjoy this soup is alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. Today, however, I decided to add some left-over quinoa to make it extra healthy!

Ingredients:

1 large bunch broccoli

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (I have omitted this on occasion and it tastes just as good!)

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

3/4 tsp salt

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup half-and-half (optional)

1/4 cup snipped chives (optional) – I used green onion because I didn’t have any chives!

Directions:

Separate broccoli stems from florets. Using a vegetable peeler, peel stems to remove tough outer layer, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick “coins”. Break or cut the florets into small pieces. Reserve stems and florets separately.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli stems, potato, and garlic, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water, broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer until broccoli and potato are tender, about 12 minutes.

Add florets; bring to a boil and then simmer 5 minutes.

Transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. (I use an immersion hand blender directly in the saucepan instead, so there is no need to transfer the soup!) Return soup to saucepan; add half-and-half and chives (if using) and reheat briefly.

Makes 4 servings.

What’s your favourite vegetable soup?