If you hadn’t already guessed, that 21-day challenge ended about 12 days in. I was trying to avoid writing this post, but I’m hoping I can redeem myself by presenting you with this healthy recipe full of restorative greens.
I tried to restart the challenge again several times after my indiscretion with nachos in Nashville, but trip after trip, one dinner party after another followed, and the regimen became increasingly hard to stick to. While you can resort to small portions at a dinner party without being noticed, it’s hard to entirely cut out parts of a meal being served to you without looking rude or fussy.
Further, since I was not eating any carbs during each failed attempt of the challenge, I found myself turning more to proteins to feel full, and that did a number on my digestive system.
Lesson learned: As with anything, balance is the key.
Eager to repair some of the vacation damage, I finally returned to the kitchen yesterday. Originally, I wanted to make the watercress soup I had made months ago, but summer bounties having replaced the spring stock means that watercress is harder to find in the stores. Therefore, I purchased several bunches of broccoli and kale, and decided to get creative.
The following is what I managed to concoct using these veggies. I’ll admit, the final ingredients and method you see listed here are a result of several remedial steps to make palatable an otherwise broccoli-heavy soup that tasted too green. Without heavy cream or cheese, I struggled to give this a softer flavor and texture, so that’s where the milk, yogurt and blended chickpeas come into play.
Given the season and strong flavors of this recipe, one option would be to serve this chilled, like a summertime gazpacho. Also, while it’s easy for me to eat bowlfuls of this type of soup, some people may prefer to take it in smaller servings as a side or starter.
Reparative Broccoli & Kale Soup
- 1 bunch of broccoli– chop off the stems and keep the florets
- 1 bunch of kale — chop off the stalky stem and keep the leafy portion
- 1 small yellow/white onion, diced
- 1 small potato, diced
- 1/2 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup of milk
- 8 oz nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 green jalapeno , chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons lemon pepper
- Crushed Garlic as needed — I used garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 30 oz vegetable broth
- In a large pot, saute onions, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil for about 3-5 minutes until the mix becomes quite fragrant (raw smell is gone) and the onions have turned translucent.
- Add diced potatoes, vegetable broth and broccoli. Simmer with lid on for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add kale. Simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
- While the mixture is cooking, separately blend the rinsed chickpeas into a mash.
- Return to the pot to check with a fork that the broccoli, potato and kale are completely soft. Once all are completely cooked, use a handheld blender to blend all ingredients together in the pot until smooth.
- One by one: Add yogurt and milk to the pot. Blend. Add blended chickpeas to the pot. Blend. Add remaining seasoning (lemon pepper, brown sugar) to the pot. Blend.
- Ladle into a bowl and serve immediately hot, or refrigerate and serve chilled for a summertime treat.