Another winter day in Sydney today, Sigh!
I really thought winter was over when we had a few warm days last week but Na! It’s winter weather again, and by the looks of it, it will last for a few more days.
In such cold mornings, I usually have a quick breakfast, drop off the kids to school, pick up my coffee and head straight back home praying to God on the way that I find some leftover soup in the fridge, because nothing compares to a bowl of home made soup right? and today my prayers were answered, thank God!
Making stocks and broths at home is something I find very soothing and heart warming and it becomes almost like a celebration of the seasonal produce in one pot. This broth I made last week was inspired by the leftovers in my kitchen, from wilted vegetables in my fridge to leftover brown rice to stale bread, you name it. I hate throwing away food; it just kills me. So by the end of every week (and it’s becoming a habit now) I have to make sure I use up any leftover veggies somehow; whether they go in my salads, soups or stews, it’s always a hit, because they add so much richness and flavours to any dish I make.
As I have mentioned before, I made this soup last week, my kids liked it so much that they asked me to make it again last night and I did. I’m so glad they left some in the fridge for my brunch today, it was just perfect!
Before I take you to the recipe, I would like to introduce you to ‘Kohlrabi’ vegetable, Tadaaa!! What the hell, right ?? This weird looking vegetable is all over the markets these days. I’m assuming it’s in season! You might have noticed it and wondered what it was. I have to say, I didn’t choose to buy this one, and probably wouldn’t have thought about trying it. But I was introduced to Kohlrabi by the farmer at Ramsgate Foodies Markets when I was buying my weekly veggies, she added one to my basket for free and asked me to try it and to let her know if I liked it. She briefly explained how to use it, but typical me, as soon as I got home, I started researching what this thing was, and this is what I’ve learnt about it:
- also called German turnip or Turnip cabbage. Kohl=cabbage
- a versatile, annual vegetable that can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
- the taste and texture are somewhere between cabbage heart and broccoli stem but milder and a bit sweeter too.
- It comes in green and purple.
- the outer layer doesn’t soften easily while cooking so peeling is essential
- rich in vitamin C and minerals such as potassium, copper, calcium and manganese.
Note: if you can’t find Kohlarbi for this recipe, you can always replace it with cabbage or broccoli.
So here you go, a delicious hearty soup that you can make out of your leftover food. I encourage you to adapt this recipe to your own taste and mood, play around with your vegetables, spices, grains and beans. But please don’t forget to share a picture or a story with me, would love to hear about your adventures in the kitchen and perhaps learn something new from them.
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- 2.2 litres of filtered water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 celery stacks with leaves,coarsely chopped(reserve some leaves for serving)
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 large red onions, chopped
- sticks of 2 fennels, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium Kohlrabi, peeled and sliced (replace with cabbage or broccoli if not available)
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 cup cooked brown rice.
- 2 * 400 g organic butter beans cans, rinsed thoroughly.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, extra to taste
- 10-12 thick baguette slices.
- 1 cup light mozzarella cheese.
- celery leaves
- extra sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- lemon wedges
- heat olive oil in a deep and large pan for a few seconds
- add chopped vegetables and stir for 2 mins
- add water and spices to the pan; bring to the boil over high heat.
- cover the pan, reduce heat to the lowest and leave to simmer for 1.15 hrs.
- turn the heat off, and leave to cool down and intensify in flavours for at least 20 mins.
- strain broth and discard vegetables in a compost bin.
- you should have about 1.8 litres of clear broth.
- prepare your bread by adding equal amounts of mozzarella cheese on top of each bread slice, place on a baking tray and heat under your oven grill until cheese melts.
- meanwhile return broth to the large pan and reheat.
- add turmeric and ginger to the pan, then add beans and brown rice.
- bring to the boil, let it boil for only 2 mins, then remove from heat.
- To serve, divide soup among 6 bowls, add celery leaves to each and top with a slice of cheesy baguette slice. Serve with salt, freshly ground pepper and lemon wedges on the side.
- adjust the quantities of beans and rice according to your taste. If you are not too heavy on beans, then decrease the amount of beans by using only one can instead of two.
- this soup
Click here to check out my fennel salad recipe and for more ideas on how to use every part of your fennel.