When I lived in Barcelona for five years, I had a wonderful friend, Juan Antonio who was a great epicurea. He and his mother were from the southern city of Almeria and they taught me most of what I know about Spanish and Catalan cooking. That and eating great food every day for 5 years. Here is the recipe for this wonderful soup.
H M P
First stage: The beginning, healing diet indicated with an “H”
Second stage: A maintenance diet when the inflammation is gone and you are moving into a gluten and dairy free diet indicated by an “M”
Third stage: Paleo indicated by a “P”
This is a soup that even picky children will eat. It is satisfying, has great nutrients, is soothing to the stomach and it reminds me of my youth in Barcelona.
One of the beautiful things about this soup is that it is, should and can always be slightly different according to what you have in the house.
1 peeled and diced potato I use Yukon Gold because this is closer to the potato I could buy in the Catalan markets before Spain entered the EU.
4 cups of Broccoli I shave off the tough outer skin of the stem and cut it into medallions. But not much. Save the medallion for another meal of vegetables. I hate to waste anything!
Zucchini according to the size of the zucchini about equal to the broccoli unless you have less, then use less.
2-3 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 medium to small onion, cut in eighths
Scant ½ tsp dried thyme
Healthy grind of pepper
Pinch of cayenne or a small amount of chili oil (M & P)
Bouillon concentrate or organic chicken broth
1 T. Tofutti cream cheese or chèvre (optional) (H)
Quality EV Olive Oil
Place all ingredients except olive oil and optional Tofutti/chèvre in a large saucepan, add water to cover and add bouillon concentrate OR cover with organic chicken broth. Bring to a healthy simmer and cook gently for 16-20”. I place a lid slightly ajar on the soup pot in order to speed the process.
Cook until the potato is done. Test it! You do not want to overcook this soup and ruin the vibrant green of the vegies! Discard bay leaf. Take the solids out and put it in your favorite form of puréer*. Blend. (Only add some of the hot broth to make a thinner consistency of soup after you have blended it or it will be too thin. I never need more broth!)
Add a pinch of cayenne or (homemade chili oil), and 1 T good quality extra virgin olive oil and/or the optional Tofutti. Blend again for a few seconds.
Serve immediately. Drizzle with a lovely fake Kangi of olive oil. Pass the black pepper.
*Purée in a Robot, Vitamix, blender or food processor. Add 1 heaping T. of Tofutti (cream cheese substitute for all you who are going dairy free) or chèvre if you use dairy products (goat cheese). If you cannot have soy products (allergy or Paleo), don’t use anything. It is just an enricher. Juan Antonio used to throw in one of those pre-packaged awful cheese triangles (another terrible idea from America) that tasted like cardboard.
One advantage to this soup besides its vibrant color and nutrients is that you can cook it without advancing to the blending stage, set it on the back of the stove, covered until it is cool. Then re-heat and purée. This soup keeps well for 2 days in the fridge.
Watch the amount you are puréeing. If using a blender or Vitamix, do not fill more than 2/3rds full. Place a kitchen towel over the firmly placed blender lid, place your hand on the top to secure it and pay attention to the hot liquid. Many a person has had the hot liquid push the lid off and have either a burn or a messy ceiling.
I made this twice last week and friends asked me to post the recipe. Realizing that I have only a few recipes up so far and two of them are soups, I promise I have some wonderful entrées for next week. But it’s still cold in the Midwest and we are all eating soups and stews to stay warm!