Broccoli Stem Soup


I believe soup is made in the toppings. Whether it's a dollop of crème fraîche or a handful of roasted nuts, adding something extra to a comforting bowl of soup can make it into a delicious rounded meal. Perfect for lunch. Perfect for dinner. Perfect for breakfast...? (Okay I'm still working on that one). 

I'm all about the toppings in this recipe. Mini-crunchy-spicy-lemony-roasted broccoli bites with some toasted pine nuts? Yes, please. Plus, not having any florets in the soup means you get a much smoother consistency because there aren't tiny broccoli kernels floating around refusing to be blended. AND you don't throw anything away. Every last bit of broccoli gets munched. Great if you're me, terrible if you're my broccoli hating brother. 

This is a pretty simple soup recipe that you can play around with depending on what's in your fridge. Got some carrots? Throw 'em in. My roommate also made a version of this with a head of cauliflower instead of broccoli and it turned out great. 


Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the stems off the broccoli and set aside. Chop the florets into bite-sized pieces. On a baking tray mix the florets with juice from 1/2 the lemon, a good drizzle of olive oil, chili flakes, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven until crispy, turning half way through (approx. 20 mins total time, but watch them, you want to take them out just before they start to burn).

Dice the onion and garlic and sauté in olive oil on a medium heat. Roughly chop broccoli stems and potato, add these to the pan and season generously with salt & pepper. Sauté briefly then add the vegetable stock (adding more if you prefer a thinner soup). Bring to a boil, then simmer until broccoli stems and potato are tender. 

Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Add the other 1/2 of the lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste. In a small pan, gently toast the pine nuts. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with crispy broccoli and toasted pine nuts. 


2 heads of broccoli

1 potato 

1 onion 

2 cloves of garlic

3 cups vegetable stock 

1 lemon

pinch of chili flakes

handful of pine nuts

olive oil

salt & pepper


Mushroom and Cashew Soup

I have a cold (boo), but that means it's definitely soup season (yay)! I love mushroom soup but I sometimes find it to be a bit meh... mushrooms have that great unami taste but they don't always hold up that well in soup. I find the soup often needs something to bulk it up. Something to give it that extra creamy warmness, you know, the thing that makes us hold steaming soup bowls between our hands on crisp fall days, so excited for the bowl of delicious warmth we're about to devour. 

So there I was, standing over a bowl of mushroom soup, thinking to myself 'what can I add to this?' And it struck me that cashews would be perfect. They're creamy, nutty, and not too strong. I threw in a handful of cashews and I've never looked back.  

I now soak the cashews in water overnight (or for a couple of hours in advance) and use the water they're soaked in for the broth. If I forget to do this (which happens all the time), I still add them, the soup just isn't quite as creamy. This recipe is vegan but if you're not, you can use butter to sauté the shallot and garlic and I'd highly recommend adding a big dollop of crème fraîche to your bowl of soup.   


1 packet of mushrooms 

handful of cashews (soaked overnight in water)

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves

few sprigs of thyme

handful of parsley 

2 quarts vegetable stock

a big splash of sherry

olive oil

salt & pepper




Dice the shallot and the garlic. Heat olive oil in a pot on a medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic until tender.

Roughly chop the mushrooms and the thyme. Add to the pot, season everything with salt and pepper, and stir. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add sherry and turn up the heat. Let the alcohol burn off then add the cashews with the water they were soaked in and the vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 

Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes then blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and check for seasoning. Roughly chop the parsley.  

Serve with a dash of olive oil and sprinkling of parsley. 

Pssst... looking for a great CSA in the DC area? Look no further! I use From the Farmer and have all my lovely produce delivered to my door! These mushrooms came from them and so do most of the ingredients on this blog. If you want to try them out, use the code HUNGRIESTBEAR for 50% off your first two orders! 

Pink and Green Salad

Here's the thing. I don't love green beans. They're fine, but if they didn't appear in my CSA or cross my path at Thanksgiving, I'd probably never touch the things. It's not that I actively dislike them, I'm just very "meh" on them. When they do show up in my CSA (hi SPRING), I usually end up throwing them in a pasta dish or a curry or covering them with cheese and pesto so they just taste like, well, cheese and pesto. 

But this time I was determined to find a way to eat them that was a little bit more adventurous but still really easy. So I do what I always do when I'm looking for inspiration... ask myself WWDMD (what would Deborah Madison do). After looking over the green bean recipes in Vegetable Literacy, I discovered I kept almost all the ingredients for the last  recipe on hand at all times (olives, onions, garlic...) so I was set. The recipe did not disappoint and it is now my go to for green beans. The strong flavors of the onion and olive balance out the blandness of the beans. It's a perfect lunch or light dinner and with all the different colors, it always looks delightful. 

Madison's original recipe uses shallots in apple cider vinegar instead of red onions in red wine vinegar and tomatoes instead of almonds (but I wanted some crunch). I usually have red onions kicking about and I adore them, but I can't eat them raw without some considerable stomach upset, so I've started pickling them for salads. It's pretty simple and can be done anytime from 30 minutes to 1 week in advance. I simply slice the onions, put them in a bowl or jar, cover them with 50% red wine vinegar and 50% hot water, and add a pinch of sugar. 


Put water on to boil and add a pinch of salt. Top and tail the green beans and put them on to boil. Roughly chop the olives and mince the garlic. Mix them together in a small bowl with a good splash of olive oil. Roughly chop the almonds. 

Once the beans are cooked, remove from the heat and drain them. In a bowl mix the green beans with the olive/garlic/oil mixture. 

To serve, place the beans in a bowl and scatter the almonds and red onions on top. If you don't care about presentation, just mix everything together and go at it. 


green beans

small handful of olives

1 garlic clove

small handful of almonds

olive oil

pickled red onions (see above)