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Friday, March 2, 2012

Brocolli Soup garnished with Hard Goats Cheese & Nutmeg

Soup is great - we all know it so lets just embrace it.
This is my totally quick, simple, delicious, knock up late on Sunday night - enjoy on Monday lunch soup.
Coniferous brocolli has amazing health benefits in relation to blood pressure, a healthy nervous system, bone health, a healthy digestive system and is packed with Vitamin C & Calcium.
For a richer, creamier soup add a touch of light cream, extra light philadelphia or soya cream. (dairy allergy, vegan)
Any stock can be used - dried cubes, gel stock pots, fresh homemade, liquid concentrate or marigold swiss vegan vegetable stock.

Serves 2
1 head brocolli
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 very small potato
500/700ml stock (depending how thick or thin you like your soup)
Freshly ground black pepper
small drizzle of  light cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
20g hard fresh artisan goats cheese

  1. Prepare all  ingredients. Wash the brocolli - remove the stalk and chop into florets. A little stalk is fine. Wash, peel and dice the potato into small cubes. Peel and dice the onion and garlic.
  2. On a high heat warm the rapeseed oil and saute the onion, garlic and potato for about 3/4 minutes.
  3. Add in the brocolli - pour over the stock and simmer for 20mins. While its simmering grate the cheese and nutmeg.
  4. When the vegetables are tender blitz in the food processor - add a touch of seasoning, a little cream.
  5. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkle of cheese and pinch of nutmeg.
  6. Enjoy with some warm taosted rye bread. Delish. 
P.S Please don't underestimate the importance of the nutmeg in this dish - it really does elevate this to a much more interesting soup.

P.P.S Goat or sheep feta would also be great crumbled on top of this soup.

Fennel Seasoned Lemon Sole on a Bed of Black Pudding Cannelini Beans

I picked up some beautiful lemon sole fillets the other day, and as a treat I got the fishmonger to throw in a couple of Dublin Bay Prawns.  I spent time deliberating on what to do with them - grill with rapeseed oil, lemon, garlic & a pinch of paprika ? stuff with a little crabmeat ? low fat creamy garlic mash and steamed brocolli. Well no - going on what was left in the fridge & store cupboard I found black pudding, chorizo, cannellini beans & tomatoes.

In line with the ethos of SkinnyLovesFood  - its all about high impact flavour and low saturated fat content. The aim is to create a light, tasty meal full of flavour with lots of protein for a feeling of fullness.

The seasoning for the fish is a blend of really delicate and subtly flavour which enhance the overall flavour of the meal and tie all the flavours together beautifully.

Serves 2
1/4 (quarter) tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp vegetable boullion/ fish
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 (half) tsp dill
1/2 (half) tsp celery salt

2/4 fillets of lemon sole (depending on how hungry you are - they can be quiet thin)
25g black pudding

Bean Cassoulet
1 tin cannellini beans
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1/2 (half) red onion
4 cloves garlic
30g black pudding
30g choirizo
1/2 (half) tin tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
pinch saffron
1 tsp capers
50ml white wine

  1. Preheat the oven 200oC / Gas 8
  2. To make the fish seasoning - using a mortar & pestle  ( or the base of a rolling pin etc) bash all the ingredients until they form a fine powder
  3. Dice the onion & garlic.Cut the pudding & chorizo into small cubes.
  4. Open the tin of cannellini beans - rinse through with cold water.
  5. Heat 1 tsp rapeseed oil - saute the onion, garlic, chorizo & black pudding for a couple of minutes.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the wine - this means pouring the wine in and lifting all the lovely flavour from the bottom of the pan . Allow to simmer until the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add in the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, saffron & capers. Add in 100mls water - gradually as you need it. Allow to simmer for 20mins.
  8. Lightly oil a baking sheet and pop in the oven to warm for few minutes. Dice the 25g black pudding.
  9.  Remove and pop on the sole fillets. Sprinkle the fennel seasoning on top, spritz with a little fresh lemon juice and scatter black pudding pieces on top. Place Dublin Bay Prawns on the baking tray and bake for 10 mins.
  10. To serve , place the bean cassoulet on the bottom of the serving dish and sit the lemon sole fillets on top.  Serve with some steamed green beans, drizzled with a little chilli or garlic oil. Enjoy.

P.S. You made need to add 1 tsp sugar (preferrable brown) to the cannellini bean cassoulet to sweeten up the tomatoes.

P.P.S. I added some fennel and basil marinated olives to garnish the dish - totally optional !!