Soups are super easy to make if you're short on time, and they can pack a nutrient dense punch. The focus of this nutritious soup is green vegetables which are high in anti-oxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. The cannellini beans add a chunky textural element and a healthy dose of fibre, protein and B vitamins. The herbs, lemon, and seasonings make this one of the tastiest vegetarian soups out there.
1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 inch knob of ginger chopped or zested
1 small hot red chilli sliced (optional)
Zest of one lemon
5 cups of water (6 or 7 to make it go further)
1 vegetable stock cube
1 small head of broccoli chopped roughly
1 and 1/2 large zucchini or 3 small chopped roughly
3 kale leaves cut finely
Leaves off 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of wakame or any seaweed of your choice
1 tin cannellini beans
Salt and pepper to season
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
Rinse the cannellini beans well in a strainer and set aside.
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a heavy based pot or saucepan.
Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry gently for a minute.
Add the water and stock and turn up the heat to high.
When the stock cube has dissolved add the lemon zest, vegetables, thyme, seaweed and salt.
Bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer with the lid on for 20 - 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Partially blend with a stick blender so it has still has some chunky bits.
Add the cannellini beans and heat for a further five minutes.
Turn the heat off, stir through the lemon juice and parsley, season with pepper and serve.
A chef friend once told me the secret to any good soup is salt.
If you're short on time you can add the whole thyme sprigs to the soup - the leaves will fall off while cooking - just remember to remove the stalks before you blend the soup.
If you don't have a stick blender, you can add the beans and partially blend it all in a food processor - and failing that just chop everything smaller and don't blend at all.
You can purchase dried seaweed at Asian grocers or from the Asian section at Coles and Woolworths.