BowlsMainsQuick & Easy

Immunity-boosting Green Goddess Soup (delish!)

10 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 71

This green goddess soup defies all expectations of regular green soups. For one thing, it doesn’t taste like pureed weed. It’s really delicious. And it’s shared by me, a self-confessed cheese-loving carb monster (didn’t expect that to happen!): This green-her-soup, chock-full of immune-boosting veggies, is a perfect match for the winter gloom. what you need to fight.

Immunity-boosting Green Goddess Soup (delish!) - NomNomWow
Immunity-boosting Green Goddess Soup (delish!) – NomNomWow

Immunity-boosting Green Goddess Soup

Half of Sydney is currently out of action due to the flu and Covid-19. So, in response to your request, I would like to introduce a large pot filled with nutritious and delicious side dishes!

I won’t lie. My first few attempts here were pretty spicy and tasted like a hot green wheatgrass smoothie.I knew it was good for me…but it wasn’t fun to eat! ! !

But with a little ingenuity, you can make aojiru that’s not only delicious but also healthy. Three little things that make a difference here are:

  1. Sautéing plenty of aromatics – lots of garlic, onion and/or leeks, celery and fennel (the secret ingredient);
  2. Hint of spices – cumin and allspice <– Another secret ingredient
  3. Cooking off the spices with the aromatics – Makes the spices toasty and brings out the flavour. So much more effective than just adding it straight into liquids!

What goes in my Green Goddess Soup

Wait until you see the pile of vegetables you’re about to cook! I feel nobility just thinking about doing so.

I have tried many different combinations and the veggies listed below have the best flavor and are my favourite, so they don’t taste like eating a hot bowl of weed.But you can switch with whatever veggies you have Don’t get too hung up on copying everything I’ve used, because you can. Not a lot, but it makes a huge difference in the end result!

  • Broccoli – A whole head! I use the stalk too. Just peel the fibrous skin, dice the stalk and throw it into the pot.
  • Fennel – In my opinion, this is an under-utilised “secret ingredient” that adds a touch of special flavour to so many dishes! When raw, fennel has a mild aniseed flavour. Once cooked it tends to be muted when used in relatively small quantities like in this recipe. However cooked fennel has a wonderful sweetness that really adds to the flavour base of this soup.
  • Celery – Another regularly used flavour base ingredient.
  • Leek – In my base recipe I’m using one onion and one leek, so you can see both. But you can just double up on either. Again these bring a natural sweetness to the soup.
  • Frozen peas – To thicken the soup as well as adding a touch of sweetness. Substitute with an equal amount of either more fennel, broccoli or potato.
  • Kale – Yep, a WHOLE BUNCH of kale! OK fine, it’s a small-ish bunch. And we just use the leavesBut I do like flaunting the fact that it’s got so much superfood kale in it yet it doesn’t taste kale-y (which I know people are not a fan of). Substitute with frozen kale or more baby spinach.
  • Baby spinach – An enormous mound of baby spinach, I use a whole bag (standard size 280g / 10 oz). Substitute with frozen spinach, fresh English spinach or more kale.

AROMATICS AND FLAVOUR

OK, so here are the ingredients that make this soup tasty!! You didn’t seriously think I was just going to ask you to whizz up a pile of green veg, did you??

  • Cumin and all spice – Just 3/4 teaspoon of each does wonders to add a hint of background flavour. This adds some complexity and interest to what could otherwise be a very one-note, grassy-tasting soup. You can’t actually taste them unless you have a very refined palette, which I don’t. But if you skip them, you will know something’s missing. So don’t!
  • Potato – This is for soup thickening purposes. You can use any type you want. If you switch with sweet potato, I cannot be held responsible for what it does to the colour of your soup (I see …. brown in your future?? 
  • Garlic – 5 whole cloves. You know you want it!
  • Onion – More flavour base. In the base recipe, I use one leek (see Veg load #1) and one onion. But if leeks are expensive, I just double up on onion. (In case you’re wondering why I bother with leek, it’s because it has a slightly sweeter and gentler flavour than onion.)
  • Cream – I’m just going to tell it to you straight: without the cream, this tastes like a hot green smoothie. Full fat, cow’s milk cream, all the way. Substitute with sour cream or creme fraiche, though be prepared for a slightly tangy edge to the soup (which would actually be delicious too). For non-dairy, coconut cream will work fine but will alter the flavour. Butter will also make a suitable alternative. I’d use a generous knob for sautéing the veg then stir in more at the end. Just keep adding then tasting, adding then tasting!

JUST ADD WATER!

Most of the soups on my website call for a broth of cooking liquid, but for this recipe all you need is water. Yes! The significant amount of seasonings we use (garlic, onion/leek, celery, fennel) contributes greatly to this.

How to make Green Goddess Soup

  1. Sauté aromatics – Start off by sautéing the onion, garlic, leek, celery and fennel for 5 minutes until softened. These are our aromatics and using a generous amount like we do in this soup is the reason why we can get away with just using water rather than stock (as mentioned above).
  2. Cook off spices – Add the all spice and cumin then cook for 1 minute. Cooking the spices is a neat trick for adding toastiness as well as coaxing more flavour out of them.
  3. Simmer with vegetables – Add the broccoli, potato, water, salt and pepper and simmer for 7 minutes or until the broccoli and potato is tender.At this stage, your green soup will look rather brown, but have faith! It will be a vibrant green once the kale and spinach are blitzed in!
  4. Peas – Add the frozen peas (still frozen is fine) then simmer for 1 minute. That’s all the cooking time you need even if they were still frozen as they’ll continue to cook in the residual heat.
  5. Blitz in kale and spinach – Turn the stove off then add the kale. Push it into the hot liquid to wilt slightly then use a stick blender to blitz. Once the blended kale is mostly wilted, do the same with the baby spinach.Now blitz until it’s as smooth as you desire – have a little taste test to check. I blitz for a good 3 minutes on high. With a stick blender the soup won’t be completely smooth but I like having a bit of texture. For some reason, the thought of a completely smooth bright green soup creeps me out!If 100% smooth is what you’re after, use a normal blender. Blend in batches with the feeder lid removed, else the lid will blow off when you blend due to the heat. Cover the opening with a folded tea towel and blend in batches then transfer into a separate pot. (Note all the extra washing up = reason why I’ll always use a stick blender if I can!).
  6. Stir in cream. There’s plenty of residual heat in this soup so there’s no need to return it to the stove!
  7. Check salt – Have a taste and check if there is sufficient salt for your taste. Just a side note: the salt comes out more the next day and beyond. I don’t know the science behind it, all I know is that the soup seems to get saltier the next day!
  8. Soup garnishes – Ladle the soup into bowls then top with finishes of choice. I’ve gone with a swirl of cream, swish of olive oil and sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds, for something different from the predictable (albeit much loved!) croutons. Though if croutons is what you’re after, find it in my Celeriac Soup recipe.

This soup is naturally filling, but I don’t miss an opportunity to dip the bread. Pictured above is Crusty Artisan Bread, also known as the world’s easiest no-knead bread and one of the most popular recipes on the site.If you haven’t tried it yet, you must!

Big batch, keeps well – and stays green!

I don’t know about you but the last time I attempted a green soup, it went brown when I reheated it.

Happily, this soup stays super green even after being reheated many times. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days and in the freezer for 3 months. When you catch a cold, just microwave the soup in a mug and you’re good to go!

This is also a large batch recipe. Mainly because it’s designed to use 1 bag of baby spinach, 1 bunch of kale, 1 bulb of fennel, etc. But it’s totally scaled down – just use the slider on the recipe card (click serving then slide down)..

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Immunity-boosting Green Goddess Soup (delish!)

Immunity-boosting Green Goddess Soup (delish!)

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This green goddess soup defies all expectations of regular green soups. For one thing, it doesn't taste like pureed weed.It's really delicious. And it's shared by me, a self-confessed cheese-loving carb monster (didn't expect that to happen!): This green-her-soup, chock-full of immune-boosting veggies, is a perfect match for the winter gloom. what you need to fight.
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
10 mins
servings
8 people
total time
25 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion , diced (Note 1)

  • 1 leek (white part only) or another onion , diced (Note 1)

  • 1 medium fennel , chopped (Note 2)

  • 2 celery stems , roughly chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves , roughly minced

  • 3/4 tsp all spice powder (sub mixed spice)

  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder (sub coriander)

  • 1 medium potato (any type), peeled, 1.5 cm cubes

  • 1 head broccoli , florets (peel and chop stalk too)

  • 2 1/2 tsp cooking / kosher salt

  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1.75 litres / quarts water (Note 3)

  • 1 cup frozen peas (Note 4)

  • 5 cups (tightly packed) kale leaves , roughly chopped (1 small bunch, Note 5)

  • 5 cups (tightly packed) baby spinach (Note 6)

  • 3/4 cup thickened cream (Note 7)

  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted (or croutons or other toasted nuts, Note 8)

  • Cream and/or olive oil for drizzling

Instructions

1

Sauté aromatics:

Heat oil in a very large pot (6L/qt) over medium high heat. Cook onion, leek, celery, garlic and fennel for 5 minutes until softened.
2

Cook spices:

Add all spice and cumin, and cook for 1 minute.
3

Add water, potatoes, broccoli,

salt and pepper. Stir, bring to simmer, and simmer for 7 minutes (no lid) until the broccoli is tender.
4

Add peas:

Add peas, simmer for 1 minute.
5

Blitz in kale:

Remove pot off the stove. Add kale, push it under the liquid, then blitz with a stick blender until mostly smooth. Add spinach, push under the liquid then blitz again until smooth as possible (approx 3 to 5 mins). This will result in a smooth soup but with little green bits in it – I like this for a little texture.
6

Serve:

Stir in cream. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with extra cream and/or olive oil and finish with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. Eat and feel great!

Notes

Onion / leeks – Use either one of each, as shown in the base recipe and recipe video, or use either 2 leeks or 2 onions. Leek has a slightly sweeter, more rounded flavour which I like to use when they’re on special! Fennel adds a great flavour base to this soup so really try not to skip it. For those who are not a fan of the aniseed flavour of fennel, don’t worry, you can’t taste it! Just water is required for this soup. We don’t need chicken or other stock for a flavour backing, like I use for most soup recipes. We’re essentially making a homemade vegetable stock here! Peas can be substituted with more broccoli, fennel or potato. Kale – Nutrition booster! In case you’re concerned about a strong kale flavour, don’t worry! With everything else going on in the soup, the kale flavour is not really there. Substitute with more baby spinach or English spinach. Or 300 – 400g frozen kale or spinach (thawed, excess water lightly squeezed out). To remove kale leaves, enclose your hand around the base of the stem then run your enclosed fist up the stem to strip the leaves off. To measure, push the kale leaves really tightly into the measuring cup. Jam pack it in! Cream alternative – To make this vegan, use a vegan cream (available at some grocery stores these days), coconut cream or coconut milk (it will add a touch of coconut flavour which I think would be nice). Sunflower seeds – To toast, preheat a small pan (no oil) over medium high heat then toast the sunflower seeds, stirring or shaking the pan every now and then, until light golden. Do the same with other nuts/seeds of choice (pine nuts, pepitas, almond flakes would be nice). For croutons, use the directions in the Celeriac soup recipe. Nutrition per serving, about 2 1/2 cups per serving (generous meal!).
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