19 May 2015: Recipe – soup for cooler nights

Green drinks or smoothies are everywhere right now. And I have to admit I am a fan (although not of the juices and I like mine to be more veg and herbs with just a hint of sweetness). I usually make my own at home and always change things up a bit but there are also some fantastic concoctions out there with a really wide variety of ingredients (let me know what your favourite combo is?!)

But this is not a green drink recipe. It is a recipe for soup. Something that I am loving at the moment. The weather here is just right (and in many places whether autumn or spring), it is easy on time spent in the kitchen, stores well and right now as my activity levels taper off it is a great way to get a filling and comforting meal packed with nutritious veggies without blowing through the calorie ceiling – something that is often pretty easy to do as the cooler temps close in. So am loving soup of all kinds.

This recipe is pretty much a warm and slightly spicy version of a green drink (minus any fruit) but there is some sweetness provided by the coconut milk. It is lacking in protein though, so depending on your needs you could add some cooked shredded chicken or sliced boiled egg at the end, or have it as part of a meal that included some other quality protein.

Creamy green vegetable and coconut soup.

Serves 4 (generous bowl sizes)

1 tbs coconut or olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped

I head broccoli

3 medium zucchinis, washed and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp curry powder

2 - 3 cups water or chicken stock

½ large bunch spinach or 3 cups baby spinach, washed

2 cups coconut milk

sea salt and pepper to taste

2 tbs finely chopped coriander or parsley

Greek yogurt or sour cream to serve

Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened (a couple of minutes). Add the curry powder and garlic and stir through until fragrant. Add the broccoli and zucchinis and then add the water or stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are just cooked through but still a nice bright green colour. Add the coconut milk and spinach and cook until the spinach is just cooked. Remove from heat and using an immersion stick blend, puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with the chopped herbs and a generous spoon of yogurt in each bowl. And enjoy!