15 Mar Recipe | Cheap, Cheerful & Easy to Make Broccoli & Spinach Soup
I’ve gone mad making soup.
I’m like Monica Gellar with her jams, except with less of a mental breakdown attached. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
I just friggin’ love soup. I’d never actually made any before so I thought instead of buying soups from Tesco & M&S all the time I’d just try my own hand at it. I mean, how hard can it be?
As it turns out it’s pretty easy and very affordable. And if you make a big batch it can do you for lunch (with bread or a sandwich obviously) for about 3 or 4 days. Which, if you’re frugal like me & get a kick out of meal planning, you’ll get very excited about.
Not to mention this particular soup is packed with lots of veggies. They have the same soup in M&S and it’s called something like “Super Soup” or “Power Soup” idk, either way they were really emphasising the POWER and GOODNESS of the ingredients.
So, if like me you struggle to get vegetables into your diet and are in a constant state of guilt about it, maybe I can pass my soup obsession on to you and we can start a soup club where we swap soup tips?
Anyway. I find this soup to be pretty delicious if I do say so myself. I’m not the bragging type so you can trust me when I it tastes exactly like the tasty power soup I got in M&S.
Okay, enough gushings of love for soup – how do I actually make it?
When I decided to make this soup I wanted it to be three things: cost effective, easy to make and tasty, obvs. So, I’ve put this recipe together with a big emphasis on those three factors.
I don’t know about you but whenever I decide to cook something I never actually read the recipe properly and just skim through it. I tell myself that it’s because cooking is a thing that you need to have your own flair for and you won’t get that if you directly copy a recipe.
This is just to make myself feel better about how I can’t actually be bothered reading a recipe the whole way through when I’m hungry and in cooking mode.
But it’s true to an extent. I love the creative side to cooking. I just find a basis for the recipe and do my own thang with it.
This *can* end badly though if you miss a crucial step while skimming and it then doesn’t turn out the way you want. I guess I’m just a soup making risk taker though?
So, yeah, if you want to just skim through this recipe and put your own spin on it, work away.
1 x Broccoli head (45p)
1 x half bag of Redmere Farms spinach (£1)
2 x stalks of Nightingale Farms celery (55p)
1 x half a leek (44p)
2 x Tesco Value Vegetable Stock Cubes (30p)
1 x Onion (16p)
2 x garlic cloves (30p)
1 x fistful of Tesco Fresh Picked coriander (70p) (probably not an official unit of measurement but I love love LOVE coriander so I went a bit crazy with it. It’s all down to personal preference and the aforementioned putting your own spin on the recipe)
1 x Tesco Fresh Picked fistful of chives (70p)
2 x Redmere Farms baby potatoes (89p)
1 x tablespoon of Tesco Fresh British Double Cream (95p) (again, I really don’t know how much you should add of this but I know it’s pretty fattening so I really don’t add a lot of it and don’t recommend you do. It is supposed to be a healthy soup after all.)
Altogether, the ingredients come to: £6.44
However, as you’re not using all of them (for instance you’re only using two of the baby potatoes, not the whole bag) the actual cost of the soup is much cheaper.
I’ve used my (very, very mediocre) maths skills and worked out the actual price of one batch of soup (three or four bowls) by dividing the amount of the ingredients used to be: £2.06.
That’s just over 50p (!) per bowl of soup AND you have plenty of ingredients left over to go crazy and make another batch if you feel like it. Remember, soup can be frozen.
You’re going to need a hand blender for this, just in case that isn’t obvious.
I picked up one for £5 (!) in Tesco. It’s not fantastic but it does the job just fine. I’m sure there are much fancier, more expensive ones but if you’re wanting to keep costs down then I don’t really think you’ll find a cheaper, more effective one than this.
- First things first, get a couple of those baby potatoes washed, peeled and on the boil. Potatoes take such an annoyingly long time to boil so it’s best getting that done first to you aren’t waiting later on.
- When they’re on the boil fill the kettle up again and get it boiled for making lots of veg stock.
- Meanwhile, get a big pot out, put it on a medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter in it. Chop your onion and garlic up and bung them in.
- While they’re browning out (Little Always Sunny reference there eh? EH?) and creating a delicious scent, get the broccoli washed and start chopping it up. Chop it as small as possible so it will be easier to blend when it comes round to it. It’s a bit messy though. The little green bits are going to get everywhere and it will be pretty annoying.
- So the onions and garlic should be rightly browned out and probably sticking to the pan a bit by this point. Get two of your veg stock cubes, stick them in a measuring jug and make 900ml of stock. Stir viciously and then pour about a fifth of it into the pot so the onions and garlic and stew in it.
- Stir that about a bit then it’s time to throw in half of the broccoli along with enough stock so that it is submerged. Leave it to stew for a little while. It will make it softer and easier to blend.
- In the meantime, start chopping up two celery stalks and half a leek. Again, make it small for easy blending. This shouldn’t be hard because celery and leek are easy to chop. They’re actually quite satisfying to chop in my opinion.
- Okay, back to the pot. IT’S BLENDING TIME. Now, make sure you aren’t wearing anything that you you’d be annoyed about getting splashes of half blended, very green soup on, because little bits are going to fly out of the pan and on to your clothes. It’s just how it goes when you have a £5 blender. I would also keep your arms covered unless you want to be shouting out in pain and annoyance when the small, hot flecks of liquid hit your skin.
- Blend until you have a smooth liquid. Then add the rest of the broccoli and some more stock. Do you see a pattern emerging? Basically stagger throwing the ingredients into the pot because it will make your life easier when it comes to blending. If you throw them all in at once I imagine it would be quite the bitch to blend.
- Alright, so far, onion, garlic, broccoli, celery and leek should be all blended. Now it’s time to throw in half a bag of spinach and the sliced up coriander and chives. Again, don’t just throw these all in at once. Do moderate amounts at a time and stir them through the soup so it softens a bit. You can tear the spinach leaves a bit to make it easier. You probably won’t have much stock left by this point but use up the rest as the soup will thicken a bit again with the spinach being added.
- Okay, by now you should have something resembling a soup. A very, very green soup. I’d like to think so or you’ve gone very wrong somewhere.
- Remember those potatoes? Yeah. They should be rightly boiled by now. They may even have boiled dry if you forgot about them like me. Take them out, chop them up (be careful as they’ll be effing roasting) throw them in the pot. And blend. Just keep blending until you feel there are no lumpy bits left and you have a smooth soup.
- Dribble in a little bit double cream. I know I said tablespoon but I’m generally too lazy to get a tablespoon out so I just throw it in. Stir it through. It will look kinda cool. Like whenever you order soup in a restaurant and they’ve garnished it with a bit of cream.
- Congratulations, you are now officially the owner of some soup. Taste it and add salt/pepper/herbs to your taste.
What do you think of my broccoli and spinach soup? Do you have any recommendations/tips to incorporate into it next time I crack the blender out?
I’m a bit of a novice soup maker after all so I’m keen for feedback from any soup connoisseurs!