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This recipe was given to me by a friend. She got it from her dietician when she was trying to lose weight. It is really healthy and very tasty, and the lemon juice highlights the flavor of the vegetables. To make it more filling you can add the lentils, though this is surprisingly filling even without them, considering there's little other than vegetables in the soup. Feel free to vary the green vegetables you put in - it's never failed for me no matter what green matter has gone in the pot! Spinach and asparagus both work very well in here too. If you're using a non stick pot you can omit the olive oil in step 1 as well; I use my large Scanpan Dutch oven and never need to add the oil. Enjoy. :)
- 1 large leek, well washed and finely sliced (onion works fine as an alternative)
- 1⁄2 bunch celery, sliced (use the leaves too)
- 1 large head of broccoli, washed and broken into florets
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 green capsicum, chopped
- 1 liter chicken stock (vegetable stock works as well)
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄3 cup lemon juice (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh chili pepper, finely chopped (or to taste, feel free to omit if you like)
- 240 g canned lentils, drained
- Place a large pot over medium heat on the stove. Add some olive oil, the garlic, chilli and leek (or onion, if using). Saute gently for 2 minutes. Do not allow leek to change colour; remember the soup is a 'green' soup so the vegetables should stay as green as possible - we don't want them browned!
- Add the celery and saute gently for another 2 minutes.
- Add broccoli, zucchini and capsicum, stirring all ingredients together. Saute gently for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly. Use your best judgement at this point; vegetables should be softened but not mushy, and they should not be changing colour.
- Add chicken stock, water and lemon juice and seeded mustard. Cover pot and bring to boil. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft but not disintegrating.
- Puree the soup well, using either a stick blender or carefully blending batches in a food processor. If soup is too thick, add more water until you achieve the consistency you prefer.
- Once pureed, transfer soup back to pot and add lentils (if using). Bring to boil and simmer gently for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary (I never add salt but some might feel it is necessary to put some in).