‘Healthy’ Green Goddess Soup
I read about a salad dressing made with mashed avocado in Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Vegetables. While this soup has nothing to do with the salad, and certainly doesn’t contain any avocado, it is so pretty and green that I felt it was worthy of the ‘green goddess’ title.
For me, the best commercial pestos are the ones in the chiller section of my favourite deli rather than the more shelf stable pestos in a jar. For a vegan version, replace the pesto with a handful of fresh basil leaves, a few pine nuts and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
enough for: 2
takes: 10 minutes
1 bunch broccolini or 1 large head broccoli, chopped
2 small zucchini (courgettes), finely chopped
4 – 6 tablespoons pesto
1. Place broccolini / broccoli and zucchini (courgettes) in a medium saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water.
2. Simmer for 6 – 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Puree in a blender or using a stick blender until you have a smoothish soup.
4. Return to the heat. Stir through pesto.
5. Taste and season and serve hot.
vegan / dairy free / paleo – replace pesto with basil oil (puree a bunch of basil with enough oil to make a paste) OR make a dairy-free Sicilian nut pesto by whizzing together 1 bunch basil, 1-2 cloves garlic, 1 cup cashews, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
pinenut allergies – replace pesto with basil oil as above.
carnivores – grill some crisp bacon or proscuitto and scatter over the soup.
carb lovers / more substantial – serve with crusty bread and butter or add couscous to the soup.
more veg – add frozen peas.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
broccolini / broccoli – will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 2 weeks or sometimes a little longer. Can be frozen (if you have time chop before freezing so it will defrost quickly in the pan).
zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
pesto – commercial jars of pesto will keep for months in the pantry. Fresh pesto will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Cover with olive oil to prevent exposure to air and browning reactions.
Problem Solving Guide
too bland – add more salt & pepper and more pesto.
too watery – simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or so to reduce or add more pesto to increase the thickness.
too lumpy – sounds like your veg aren’t cooked enough or you need a new blender ;). Simmer for another 5 minutes and puree again.
too thick or rich – add a little water and bring back to a simmer before serving.
Excellent! Will freeze well too.