January is one of my least favourite months. I really want to have the energy that a brand new year can bring, but it’s still the middle of winter, and I still want to just hibernate.
When I hear people talking about going on a diet and starting a new exercise regime, it makes me want to crawl under the covers and avoid everyone until the fuss has died down.
I can’t even consider making any kinds of change until the signs of spring start to appear and I feel my energy levels lift. Then I can start to hear the call for new adventures.
I’ve been making this soup a lot during January. It has a nice comforting consistency. The ginger gives it a warming zing and its vibrant green colour reminds me that spring is on its way, even though it doesn’t feel like it outside.
1 medium sized red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
1 head of broccoli, pulled into florets
1 handful of spinach
1 handful of cavalo nero, chopped
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
½ sheet nori seaweed, shredded
Sprinkling of toasted black and regular sesame seeds
Sprinkling of chopped spring onions
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and sweet.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the broccoli and cook for a further minute.
Add the stock and simmer. After 10 minutes, add the cavalo nero and simmer for a further five minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the spinach. Allow to wilt. Whizz to a smooth consistency with a hand blender. Add the mustard and vinegar or lemon juice and give it a final whizz. Add a splash of water if the consistency is too thick.
Reheat gently and divide into bowls, sprinkling the toppings at the end.