Broccoli & Lentil Curry

I honestly cannot understand people who hate broccoli.


Now hold on- give the poor vegetable a chance! Broccoli has been unfairly lumped with the most hated vegetables, amongst brussel sprouts, cauliflower and beetroot. All of these vegetables have redeemable qualities; except you beetroot, you’re absolutely hopeless.


I find that the reason why people hate these vegetables is often not because of the way the vegetable tastes but the way that it is prepared. Broccoli is often steamed until it becomes a mushy lump of green slime. I’m here to show you that broccoli doesn’t need to be steamed into submission, it can be thrown into a curry just before serving, left to soften and absorb the flavours of the curry and come out tasting fantastico! Don’t believe me, just give this recipe a try.

 

Broccoli & Lentil Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • a cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1×14 oz tin of coconut milk
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 200g chopped broccoli florets
  • 200g chopped green beans
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Optional for serving: chopped peanuts, fresh parsley, naan bread, jasmine rice, squeeze of lemon juice

Method

  1. Heat some olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the onions and the cinnamon stick. Fry the onions on high until starting to turn golden brown.
  2. Add the curry paste and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes or until the tomato paste is starting to caramelise; you’ll be able to tell by the browning of the tomato paste on the edges and the smell of the curry. Slowly pour in the coconut milk, stirring whilst you do so. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the curry is too spicy then add more coconut milk.
  3. Bring the sauce to a boil before adding the lentils and reducing the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked- they should be soft but not firm to the bite. Throw in the broccoli and green beans and stir to coat in the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes. If you find that the curry is too thick for the broccoli then add ½ cup of water to loosen it up.
  4. Just before serving, stir the garam masala and lemon juice through the curry and season one last time with salt and pepper. Serve hot with some warm naan and jasmine rice- enjoy!
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Minty Peas and Broccoli Soup with Cheese Toasties

I know, I know, it’s the middle of summer, yet, here I am with a cozy winter soup recipe. Something doesn’t add up here. Allow me to elaborate: the past 2 weeks have been plagued by heavy rains and violent thunderstorms. It’s cold and windy and I’ve had to resign myself to staying indoors. That is sort of like winter, right?


Whilst I was messing around in the kitchen, my heart was screaming for me to try soup. And why shouldn’t it? There’s nothing better than a warm hug in a bowl, and that’s exactly what this is all about. This wasn’t my first encounter with soup having posted this Spicy butternut and coconut soup a year ago on the blog. My fridge happened to be overflowing with broccoli at this point so I chose to go down that route. Then my imagination got the better of me and I threw in carrots, garlic, peas and some mint just to keep it interesting. You know how it is with me, always got to take it from 0 to 100.


Minty Peas and Broccoli Soup with Cheese Toasties                                     serves 4 

Ingredients

For the soup:

2 tsp olive oil

½ yellow onion, diced

2 gloves garlic, minced

2 cups loosely chopped broccoli, with the stems

1 cup roughly chopped carrots, unskinned

a handful of fresh mint or 1 tsp dried mint

2 cups vegetable stock

½ cup coconut milk + extra for garnish

optional add ins: ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp ginger, 1 tsp cayenne pepper

For the cheese toasties:

2 slices bread, sliced diagonally in half

1 cup cheese, I used a mixture of mozzarella and white cheddar

Method

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil on high and fry the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Throw in the broccoli, carrots, mint and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then season with salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables, whilst pouring in the coconut milk. Alternatively, you can add all the contents of the pot to a food processor and pulse until no large chunks of vegetable chunks. Add the coconut milk then pulse again. Taste and season with salt and pepper if required.

Return to the stove and heat on medium until the soup is hot again. If desired, you may serve the soup cold. When serving, drop coconut milk on the surface of the soup and swirl with a toothpick to create a pattern.

To make the cheese toasties: Grate the cheese and distribute it evenly over the sliced bread. Broil/grill the cheese for 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and is just starting to brown.