Hopping from family gathering to party to dinner. Zapping in and out of airports and train stations. Catering like a boss for family and friends. Too.Many.Cocktails. The holiday season definitely takes its toll. Not only on one’s routine and normal diet, but also one’s motivation to get back to real life – which unfortunately isn’t fruit-spiked mugs of glögg, and 8 a.m. slices of stollen.
I am still on holiday back home in Florida, so I am the worst person to be giving advice on how to shake off a fairly established Lindt reindeer habit – or, in my case, a salty snacks and second helpings habit. But we have made a huge batch of Jerk Black Bean and Rice Stew for New Year’s Day; some kicking breakfast quesadillas (with home-made jerk bean dip); and today – one of our favourites – kale, Dijon and potato soup. I also plan to make two versions of my roasted cauliflower Marbella recipe for my sis’s birthday. And a gluten-free blondie recipe that I’m working on. All very healthy, but punctuated with restaurant splurges and extended bouts of lying on the beach.
So, four more days of what passes for hedonism at food to glow and it is happily back to the gym (which – first time ever – I’ve actually missed) and making up soups like this one, an easy, vegan version of tom kha kai . This is just the kind of recipe to blast away that post-holiday ennui and re-set the taste buds. Well, here’s hoping!
Oh, my daughter Rachel just this second asked what I was doing, and I said writing this up. She immediately said, ” Oh, I heart that.”
I hope you “heart” it too. All the very best to you for a happy, healthy and delicious 2016. xx
Thai Coconut-Broccoli Soup
I used bought tom yum paste concentrate for ease, but make your own if you like. If buying the paste, do note that often this heady and fragrant paste will contain fish products.
3-5 tbsp tom yum paste (depends very much on the concentration of the salty elements)
1 can coconut milk (full-fat for best flavour; here’s a recipe for making homemade coconut milk)
500g broccoli, well chopped, including the delicious and sweet stem (peel it)
200g washed spinach or other mild greens
20g pack of coriander, chopped (a few leaves reserved for garnish of you wish)
Double handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of one lime + 1 lime, quartered, if you like
Sliced red chilli
Toasted coconut flakes (I toasted mine in a medium hot pan and watch them like a hawk), for serving
Special equipment needed: blender (I use my fabulous and indispensable Froothie Optimum 9400) or immersion blender/hand blender
1. Place the water and tom yum paste into a soup pan and bring to the boil; add the chopped broccoli and spinach and bring back to a simmer. Cook for five minutes.
2. Ladle the soup in batches into a blender, along with the coriander/cilantro, and blitz until mostly smooth, adding back to clean pan. Or use a hand blender.
3. Bring the soup back up to simmer and add the sweetcorn, tomatoes and coconut milk and cook for a further five minutes. Spritz in the lime juice and taste for seasoning.
Serve with sliced red chilli, more coriander and the coconut flakes.
Nice tweak: use cauliflower instead of broccoli; ditch the spinach and add jicama (aka Mexican turnip) for some dietary prebiotics and a pretty colour!
Need more protein? Add prawns, tofu, edamame, tempeh or chicken
Soft food diet: don’t use sweetcorn and blend all else in a powerful blender.
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