aka: what to do with all those ignored vegetables at the bottom of the fridge!
Let’s talk Lego!
My husband, bless his cotton socks, doesn’t do a lot of cooking. He can peer into a full refrigerator and not come up with a single idea for dinner. Shelves of vibrant vegetables get ignored in favour of carbohydrate rich bowls of pasta and porridge.
He says it’s a bit like Lego. He likes Lego. He likes Lego kits, where all the pieces are included and there are clear and concise instructions as to what to do with them to make the project.
I, on the other hand, am one of those weirdos, he says, preferring to buy a box of 5000 random pieces off eBay and then create something magnificent, from scratch, using only my imagination to guide me.
Our brains are just wired differently.
This soup recipe is one of those random Lego creations. Emptying out the contents of my fridge after spending a week in hospital with the eldest (for that story visit I Think My Teenage Son Has Appendicitis!), I noticed the vegetables had been completely neglected (yet the quantity of sugary treats multiplied exponentially every day I was gone!).
A week on hospital food has left me craving vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful I was allowed to stay with my son through his ordeal and that they fed me at all, but I was seriously missing my daily blender or juicer fix! I’ve been participating in Jumpstart 2015, a challenge to get us all eating more soups and drinking more smoothies and fresh juices.
JUMPSTART 2015: THE RULES
- Enjoy a freshly made smoothie or juice (made of mostly vegetables) for breakfast and lunch
- Drink more water (I’m terribly guilty of not drinking enough water, unless coffee counts?)
- No alcohol (optional, but I think the majority of my weight gain last year came from wine calories so it’s teetotal 2015 for me!)
- Eat more soups – chunky or smooth as long as they are loaded with vegetables!
- Normal meal in the evening (In my case, on days where I manage to complete a P90X exercise workout this meal will be rich in protein with a generous serving of vegetables and small serving of carbohydrates)
This was my lunch yesterday, but don’t let the sunny, summery light fool you – this hearty, warming soup is perfect for winter. I deliberately left the vegetables chunky as I wanted a soup I could chew, and the spinach cashew pesto is a perfect accompaniment. Again, I left this fairly chunky for the texture, and the flavour combination of the two – the warming paprika soup and the creamy spinach pesto – perfection! Vegetable Lego!
Chunky Vegetable Soup with Spinach-Cashew Pesto
For the vegetable soup
- 1 or 2 tbsp sunflower oil depending on if you are calorie counting or not!
- 1.5 medium onions finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 3 sticks celery diced
- 1 large leek quartered lengthwise and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 fresh ripe tomatoes diced
- 200 grams broccoli florets
- 200 grams cauliflower florets
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1000 ml vegetable stock or more, depending on how thin you want it
- freshly ground black pepper
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- For the soup, heat the oil in a large soup pan and gently saute the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and leek over a medium heat until it all starts to soften.
- Add the tomato puree and stir well.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cover with vegetable stock, adding more if you want a watery soup. I wanted a thick, chunky soup so I only used 1 litre.
- Cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
- To prepare the pesto, pop all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until it reaches the desired consistency. I left mine rather chunky so there were bits of nuts to chew in each mouthful of soup.
OTHER BLOGGERS TAKING PART IN JUMPSTART 2015
- Tinned Tomatoes
- Fuss Free Flavours
- Ren Behan
- Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Smarter Fitter
- Utterly Scrummy Food for Families
- Veggie Desserts
- Franglais Kitchen
- London Unattached (focusing on soups)
- Maison Cupcake
- Food to Glow
YOU! – If you would like to join in too, tweet me @TangoRaindrop your photos and recipe tips using the hashtag #Jumpstart15 and I will retweet all that I see. I’d love to try out your tried and tested recipes, and, if you like, I could even feature them on my blog (duly credited, of course!).
Bookmark or use Bloglovin to track what my Jumpstart 2015 blogging friends are up to – their recipes, tips and progress!
Linking up with a few food blogging challenges:
- Super Soup by Jo at Jo’s Kitchen
- Extra Veg by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle over at Utterly Scrummy
- Credit Crunch Munch from Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All
- The Spice Trail by Vanesther over at Bangers and Mash (Temple Food)
- No Waste Food Challenge by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- No Croutons Required by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen
OTHER RECIPES TO USE UP NEGLECTED VEGETABLES:
Baked Rice and Egg Pots with Roasted Vegetables by Fuss Free Flavours
Roast Tomato and Pepper Soup by Maison Cupcake
Spicy Coconut Milk Soup by Coffee & Vanilla
Parsnip, Carrot & Lentil Soup by Tinned Tomatoes
Winter Vegetable Soup by Franglais Kitchen
Cream of Leek, Potato & Carrot Soup by Fab Food 4 All
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Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary uses the Froothie Optimum 9400 blender, and the Froothie Optimum 600 slow juicer to make her juices, soups and smoothies. These are affiliate links, meaning if you buy a blender or juicer through them we will earn a small commission. This is not a paid post and all thoughts and opinions are our own.