Sunday, 19 October 2008

Broccoli Soup from AWW

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)
Serves 2

30g butter
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


  1. Oh, I loved that AWW book. Wonder where mine's got to? Haven't seen it in years...

    Gorgeous soup. Can't go wrong with AWW. Best test kitchen in the country, I reckon!

  2. I love the AWW books and actually HAVE that one! Yay! I can't wait to look up this soup and make it. It looks and sounds just wonderful. There's a Canadian women's magazine here called Canadian Living that comes out monthly and is very much like the AWW--I've got files and files of recipes clipped from it. Sounds like a good project for a cold weekend over here :)

    PS Did you get that last email from a week ago? I think Google is swallowing my mail ;)

  3. I love broccoli. It is so versatile!

  4. Hey thanks for visiting my blog. Id never thought of making soup with Broccoli, Ive started making soups from scratch, its great now that the weather here is getting cold, ok staying cold!
    I also collect recipes I see in magazines, Im making my own little recipe book, actually Im quite relieved its not just me!

  5. Sounds lovely! I just tried a nice broccoli, bean and pasta soup - it's nice to find more which don't have a tonne of cheese and cream in them. AWW books seem to turn up a lot here too - I have a couple which I use quite often.

  6. thanks Lucy - I imagine a few of your books have got walkabout in the move (that is my usual experience) - hope you find it - the AWW books are great!

    thanks Ricki - how amazing to hear how the AWW books have travelled the world - I actually had my magazine clippings more under control before I discovered blogging - but they surface in odd places every now and then! Yes got the email thanks - but I think there have been weird things with my emails

    thanks Erik - I agree - not much that broccoli wont shine in!

    thanks Flower - broccoli soup will be great for winter - and your own recipe book sounds a good idea - I think I have done that in the past

    thanks Lysy - I was amazed it was quite easy to find AWW books in the UK - and I also like to find soups which aren't full of cream and cheese - actually I left yoghurt out of this soup because I didn't have any!


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)