As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Roast Garlic, Broccoli & Pea Soup

Been meaning to upload this recipe for the past couple of days, but something or the other got in the way - but tonight, on the eve of my return to work after 5 months of maternity leave, here I am, finally writing!
Whipped this up with some left over Broccoli for a healthy lunch. Broccoli by itself is rich in Vitamin C and an excellent source of fiber. I love plain steamed Broccoli with just a dash of butter, but felt that the soup needed a little more. So in went the frozen peas, pushing the health quotient of this soup a notch higher. I love the flavour of roasted garlic, as it tastes fabulous and not as garlicky as you would expect, but also the caramalisation while roasting, makes it deliciously sweet, so in went a bulb (yes, a whole bulb!). If you are too lazy to use the oven to roast the garlic, you could try wrapping it in a foil and using a thick bottomed pan to do the trick. But if you do decide to skip the roasting and simply saute the garlic, then I suggest using half the quantity indicated below.
Make this and enjoy with some toasted bread, steamed corn, and you have a light, simple & healthy meal in no time at all!

Ingredients: (Makes about 4 servings)
- 1 medium head of Broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup of fresh/ frozen Green Peas
- 1 bulb of Garlic, with peel
- 1 large Onion, sliced thickly
- 1.5 Chicken OR Vegetable stock cube
- 1/2 cup low fat Milk
- 3-4 tbsp Olive Oil,
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Feta cheese, roughly crumbled

1.)  Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Place whole bulb of garlic (with peel) and the onion slices on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with some Olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 12-15 mins on a low rack (not too close to the heating coil), or till the garlic and onion are golden brown.

2.)  Bring a pot of water (lightly salted) to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the Broccoli florets and Peas till soft. Drain the veggies, but retain 2 cups of the water used to boil (you don't want to lose any nutrients!). Dissolve the chicken / vegetable stock cubes in this water. Transfer the stock to a saucepan/ pot in which you want to ultimately cook the entire soup. Save a few of the boiled broccoli florets, to use as a garnish for later.

3.)  Puree the - boiled Broccoli, Peas, Roasted (cooled & peeled) Garlic and Onion - till smooth. Add some of the stock water to thin out the veggies to help the process.

4.) Add the pureed veggie mix in to the saucepan with the stock water. Add the milk and bring to a full boil before turning off. Check seasonings and add salt/ pepper to suit your palette.

5.) Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with the crumbled Feta cheese and reserved boiled Broccoli florets & Enjoy right away! 

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