Asian Broccoli Soup

We are right in the middle of a cold stretch here in South Western Ontario and every day around noon I start nosing around for a bowl of comforting soup to warm me up. I’ve made a few big batches of my all-time favourites lately and stuck them in mason jars in the freezer to save for those days when I don’t have the time or inclination to whip up something on the spot.

Unfortunately, this creamy and delicious broccoli soup didn’t make it to the freezer – I gobbled it all up over 2 days of lunches and dinners. I just couldn’t get enough of the incredible sesame/broccoli/ginger combination… and the toasted sesame seeds took it over the top!

Broccoli is one of those foods that I turned my nose up at as a child but with much trial and error, I’ve learned to love it as an adult. It’s a veritable nutritional powerhouse with high levels if fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and phyto-nutrients. And did you know that just 1/4 cup of sesame seeds provide more absorbable (and alkaline) calcium than a whole cup of milk?

This heart-warming soup is a breeze to make, tastes great and is jam-packed with nutrients. What more could you ask for on a cold winter day?

Asian Broccoli Soup

broccoli soup

2 large heads of broccoli, cut into small florets (+ 1 stem cut into small chunks)
A 2 inch chunk of ginger, sliced
1-2 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350. Place sesame seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for approx 5 minutes until lightly browned.

In a large soup pot, boil 8 cups of fresh water with the ginger and salt. Once boiling, add 3/4 of the broccoli florets and the whole chopped stem and cook for 8-10 minutes (make sure the broccoli retains its bright green colour). Transfer the broccoli to the blender with a slotted spoon and remove the ginger slices. Add in 6-7 cups of the cooking water, being careful not to overfill the blender. Also add 1 slice of the cooked ginger, tamari and oil. Puree until smooth. Return soup to pot and reheat to medium-low. Add reserved 1/4 broccoli florets and vinegar and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and top with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 

 

Broccoli and Potato Fritters

In my ongoing search for new and exciting ways to served broccoli to my kids, I stumbled upon a recipe for broccoli fritters. Aha! Bite sized, crispy and something that can potentially be dipped in ketchup…I think we have a winner!

broccoli fritters - broc pic

I made this recipe vegan by substituting nutritional yeast flakes for the parmesan cheese in the original and using flax eggs in place of real ones. I also added some potato to give them a bit of a potato pancake taste which I could then pass off on the toddler as a “french fry”. 

Nutritional yeast flakes add a cheesy flavour and are very important in a vegan or vegetarian diet as they are one of the few non-animal sources of B-12. They are also rich in folic acid, 18 amino acids, protein, biotin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, chromium and selenium. Most nutritional yeast is grown on beet sugar or molasses and then fermented and dried so it is gluten-free and non-yeast forming in the body. I use it often in my homemade hummus, sauces and even sometimes on popcorn to add a cheesy taste.

broccoli fritters - nut yeast pic

I served these fritters for dinner to the kids and I brought them along in the car for my Dancing Girls and they all seemed to like them. Now that the girls know I’ve written about them as my taste-testers on a past post, they are always eager to try something new and offer up their comments.  I will say they weren’t as popular as the muffins with chocolate chunks but in fairness that is quite a hard act to follow ; )

There are a few stages to making these patties but they are really quite easy so don’t be put off by the steps. A few fritters and a green salad would be a nice lunch or light dinner and they also keep well in the fridge and were easy to reheat the next day.  I popped them into a wrap with some hummus and spinach for a quick and delicious lunchtime snack.

These little fritters are super yummy and taste good plain but you can take them to the next level if you dip them in sour cream or vegan sour supreme… or ketchup if you’d like ; )

Broccoli and Potato Fritters (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

fritters done

2 large potatoes, boiled
2 cups of broccoli, chopped small and steamed
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tbsp of olive oil (plus 1 tbsp for mashing potatoes and broccoli. You may need to add more to the frying pan as well)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp milled flax seeds and 1/2 cup of water)
½ cup AP flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)

Boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to be pierced easily with a fork. Drain and set aside in a medium bowl.

Steam the broccoli until tender but still brilliant green. Drain and add to the potatoes. Add a tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of sea salt and mash together lightly – there can still be some chunks.

fritters broc and pot

Combine flax egg, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, flour and salt and pepper. Add to the potato and broccoli mixture and stir to combine.

fritters batter

Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil over med/high heat in a frying pan. Using your hands, form the broccoli potato mixture into small patties. Place 4 patties on the pan leaving space between them so they get crispy. Cook approx 4 minutes per side until they are golden brown.

fritters in pan

Remove cooked fritters from pan and put them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up some of the extra oil. If you are serving them right away, pop them into a warm oven to keep them hot.

fritters in pan 2

Serve with vegan sour cream (I like Sour Supreme). Enjoy!