I’ve been pulling my hair out this week. Last week my gut was churning with nerves. Butterflies and hair-pulling do not make for restful sleep patterns. The thing is, we’re moving. Leaving our beloved neighbourhood that we’ve watched grow and evolve for a neighbourhood 10 block east. We’re still in walking & biking distance to all the things we love, but we’ve got the benefit of discovering a whole new neighbourhood too. Actually, that’s not quite right since the ‘hood we’re moving to was the first place I lived when I moved to Vancouver and where I spent all my time before settling into Strathcona. It’s a good thing. There are great markets nearby, lots of shops and restaurants and we’ll be on a quiet street (one of Vancouver’s last remaining streets to have cobblestones from where Vancouver’s historic streetcars used to tread, in fact) with a view of the Port and the North Shore mountains. And there will be lots of space, light and windows. No, there isn’t a window in the kitchen or more counter space (but that’s what future renos are for), but it’s an inspiring space with vaulted ceilings. And a dishwasher. A dishwasher!!! Yes, I’m excited and thrilled and nervous with all the changes taking place.
But before I start freaking myself out with talk of moving and boxes and upheaval, let’s talk about soup. I get that on first glance this soup might be unappealing. First of all, it’s green which could set some people on edge but not me. Somehow this soup rose above all other broccoli soups I’ve had and I can only credit that to the addition of spinach. The texture of the thing was voluminous and light which seems weird to say about a soup, but trust me when I tell you this: this soup bloomed in my bowl. I dunno if it was a mind trick or what, but it was like there was some kind of magic awesomeness involved that made this soup seem almost fluffy and creamy and perfect without any addition of cream or milk.
So what I’m saying is: make this soup. As you can see, I nearly licked the bowl clean. And because we’re nearing St. Patrick’s Day, serve it with a loaf of Irish Soda Bread because homemade bread (especially an easy one like this) always trumps crackers. And go make a whiskey oat cake for dessert to get into the spirit of things – saving the leftovers for breakfast.
elsewhere: Need a quick meal? Look no further than these fantastic garlic-ginger noodles. They are addictive and easy and you’ll find yourself wanting more. Repeat.
broccoli spinach soup
1 T olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2-1 t kosher salt
1/2 t red chili flakes
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
2 small potatoes, diced
2 stalks of broccoli, stems peeled & diced, florets broken
approx. 4 c good vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch spinach, rinsed
1 T dijon mustard
1/3 c grated cheddar cheese
In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic and celery over medium heat in the olive oil until soft. Sprinkle in the salt, chili and herbs and stir in the potatoes and broccoli. Pour in enough stock to cover all the vegetables in the pot (don’t add in too much!), put a lid on it, and let is simmer away until potatoes are tender. Add in the spinach and stir in the mustard. Blend well using an immersion blender or pour soup in batches into a blender to get it very smooth. Stir in the cheese and blend well. If you find your soup is too thick, add in more stock or add in a bit of milk. Makes 4 large portions.