After a few of my recent soups got a less than favourable response from E, I was pleased to make a broccoli soup that really impressed him. It is a soup I have made quite a few times in the past. It comes from the Australian Women’s Weekly Vegetarian Cooking book that I bought soon after (or maybe even just before) I went vegetarian – back in the mists of time!
Back then I had very few cookbooks and even less alternative sources of recipes (like the internet) so I made a lot out of this book. An Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook seemed just the right place to search for recipes. When I lived in Scotland I acquired more AWW cookbooks which were a great source of comfort and straightforward recipes.
When I was growing up recipes from the AWW magazine were ubiquitous. My mum had AWW cookbooks. The books were readily available - in fact, today you can easily find these cookbooks in most supermarkets, newsagents and bookstores. But one of the great sources of recipes was the actual magazine. My mum always had notebooks overflowing with recipe clippings and my friends who cook also do. I have my own collection. I always love a peek into someone’s clippings.
This fascination with magazine clippings stems from my childhood. I clearly remember sitting in my nan’s sewing room while visiting as a child and flicking through her old magazines that she gave to us. My mum rarely bought magazines but would be given others’ magazines, and in turn passed them on to others when she was finished with them. Even today, I don’t buy many but when I do I usually pass them to my mum or others. She buys them today and still passes them on. But I am more likely to buy food magazines rather than the lifestyle magazines.
However, I still will have a quick flick at the supermarket checkout or in a waiting room. In fact I saw a recent AWW in a waiting room recently and noticed it is now celebrating its 75th anniversary. I remember when the magazine was actually weekly – it is now monthly but the name has not changed.
One day I will delve into my archives and find my pile of recipes pages torn from magazines in my childhood and share some on this blog. Meanwhile, I still love my AWW vegetarian cookbooks which continue to be a source of great recipes like this broccoli soup. Despite the soup lacking some of the brilliant green of one of my favourite vegies, it tastes fantastic.
I made a few changes to the soup – left out a few herbs I didn’t have and added cumin. I have halved the quantities because I only had enough broccoli to make half the soup. I also realised it was an ideal opportunity to use up some of the parmesan rinds from the freezer. I read that they are edible and can be chopped up in the soup after cooking so tried this. I had visions of the soup scattered with little pieces of parmesan but the reality was that they sunk to the bottom of the bowl, and they tasted very rich so I don’t know if I would recommend adding the chopped parmesan when serving. But I will throw an old rind into more broccoli soups. And I know E will be pleased when I make the soup again.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
(adapted from AWW Vegetarian Cooking)
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup plain wholemeal flour
3 cups water
1¼ tsp vegetable stock powder
350g broccoli, chopped
½ tomato, chopped
¼ tsp cumin
Pinch mixed herbs
Some freshly grated nutmeg
1 clove, garlic, crushed
Juice of ¼ medium lemon
1 parmesan rind
½ cup milk
Black pepper to serve
Melt butter in saucepan and fry onions over medium heat for about 3 minutes or til soft. Turn heat to low and add flour. Stir for about a minute. Gradually add the water, stirring frequently to make sure the flour is all blended with no lumps. Add remaining ingredients except milk and stir to combine. Bring to boil and simmer for about 7-10 minutes or til broccoli is just soft. Remove parmesan rind and add milk. Blend with hand held blender or in food processor. Serve with freshly ground black pepper. If desired chop parmesan into little dice and sprinkle in bowls of soup to serve.
On the stereo:
Ultra-Lounge Volume 1 - Mondo Exotica – Various Artists