Happy New Year!!!!! It's good to be back with you after several weeks of 'glamping' out on our section at Waiheke sans stove and with just a barbecue for cooking. (All jolly good fun for the first week, then a teeny bit tedious after that!) Seeing as the northern hemisphere is still battening down the hatches experiencing an unbelievably cold winter, I thought it might be nice to kick the year off with a detox-y kind of soup that is nourishing, heart-warming and also spectacularly good for you...can't ask for more than that! (And for my lovely antipodean friends, fear not, some more summery recipes are coming your way very soon). This, I promise you, is a seriously good soup - you can feel totally virtuous for being so beautifully healthy without feeling like there is any denial at all. Promise. Even the birds seem keen for a nibble.
100g soft feta
1/2 cup natural Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5 cups vegetable stock + 1 cup water
1 head broccoflower (or broccoli or cauliflower!) chopped into florets
280g baby spinach (adult spinach is also fine...), washed
1 cup fresh coriander
1/2 cup dukkah (recipe here, or good quality bought stuff)
Whizz feta and yoghurt together until smooth and of a good plopping consistency, if it is a little thick, add a little more yoghurt. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks (depending on original use-by dates).
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pot and cook onion and cumin over a low/medium heat for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes. Add stock and water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Bring back up to a gentle boil and drop in broccoflower florets. Cook about 8-10 minutes (until you can pierce it reasonably easily with a sharp knife) then drop in spinach, squash it in, and cook a further two minutes. Remove from the heat, add fresh coriander and whizz in batches until super-bright green and smooth! Season to taste with a little extra salt if desired.
Now the fun part! Serve with a swirl of feta/yoghurt, a good sprinkling of dukkah and some good quality Turkish bread (obviously not if you are starting the new year in an anti-carbohydrate kind of a way...). The best way I can think to enjoy this is by giving everyone there own little dish of dukkah, then when they are nearing the bottom of the bowl they should feel free to give the remaining soup a good swipe with the bread then dunk it in the dukkah...just saying 'cos that's what I did!