This is how dinner came to be.
We’d flown back in after five days in Morocco. We arrived home at 2.30am. The Hungry One had to be up and off to work the next morning at 7.30 am. There was dust still in his bag and sleep crusted to his eyes when he staggered out the door.
We’d spent the past five days eating nothing but white carbohydrates, meats, pastries and sticky sweets (gracious me, have you ever seen how much sugar goes into a mint tea?).
We’d survived renegade motor bikes in the pink labyrinth that is the Medina, camel rides and seen monkeys make a break for freedom. We were steamed scrubbed within an inch of our skin at a hammam ( I have a new empathy for potatoes now). And one of us was even kicked by a donkey.
But now we were home. It was time to turn the dial back to zero and reacquaint our bodies to the concept of Sensible.
So that afternoon at the market into the basket went things that were green. Spinach. Spring onions Broccoli. Broccolini. Zuchinni. Mint. Basil. I knew that lurking in the freezer there would be some sweet frozen peas. They would all make fine friends with a blender and later; be adorned with buoyant bits of chilli, lemon zest and a wee crumble of goat’s curd. Calming but lively. Green and very good.
Early that evening, soon after The Hungry One stumbled through the door we ate our soothing green soup from the comfort of the couch. We drank pink wine. And we watched Casablanca. We may had left behind the noise and chaos of Marrakech, bu we couldn’t quite leave all of the romance of Morocco behind.
And as for the soup? It was just fine.
Here’s looking at you, kid.
Green is good soup
Nb, you could easily put strips of poached chicken, coins of chorizo or crumbled bacon through this soup to give it more of a meaty punch. You could also tumble in a tin of rinsed white beans, or make some ribbons out of zucchini to give it extra texture.
1 stick blender. 1 large casserole dish/ saucepan with a lid. 1 knife.
1 head of broccoli
150 grams of broccolini
1 cup of spinach leaves
12 stems of spring onion/ scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of basil
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of frozen peas
2 cups of hot chicken or vegetable stock
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of goat’s curd
Chilli to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
(NB, eats well with pita breads toasted and topped with crushed garlic).
Here’s how we roll
1. Slice the white stems of the spring onions thinly. Then sauté them in two tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Add two sliced garlic cloves and two strips of lemon zest.
3. Create ribbons or small segments from the zuchinni. Add them to the casserole dish.
4. Slice the broccoli and broccolini into small florets and add them to the casserole dish.
5. Sauté everything for 5 minutes.
6. Add ¾ of the bunch of mint, the picked basil leaves, peas and hot stock.
7. Clamp the lid on the saucepan and let them steam until the vegetables are soft, but not limpid.
8. Pluck out the lemon zest strips. Add the juice of a lemon to the pot.
9. Allow to cool slightly and then take to the soup with a stick blender, judiciously blending until the soup is smooth.
10. To serve, heat the soup up and emulsify four tablespoons of good quality olive oil through it before serving. Top in individual bowls with the remaining soft green sections of scallion/ spring onion, mint leaves, lemon zest, goat’s curd, as much chilli as you like and don’t forget to be generous with the salt and pepper.