Stretching your food budget
With the unprecedented economic impact the Coronavirus crisis is having on humanity across the globe, making the most of your food-spend is fast becoming a key part of maintaining your health and well-being while trying to get through this chapter in humanity’s history.
I am a professional chef and in trying to help you get more out of your food-spend I will be sharing a few helpful tips on how to stretch your food budget:
The main stalk of a head of broccoli is perfect to make a healthy and filling soup.
When you’ve purchased a fresh head, cut all the floretes loose from the main stem and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container or food bag and slice the main stem thinly and store that in a freezer bag until you’ve accumulated enough for the quantity of soup you want to make.
For approximately 1 liter of soup as a main meal for two persons, I usually use only one main stalk.
To make the soup, first boil the sliced stem pieces in the desired quantity plus about 100ml of lightly salted water with the lid on to reduce evaporation and loss of nutrients.
When the pieces are tender, strain and reserve the liquid. Use an electric blender jug or stick blender to pulverize the pieces and return to the pot. If you’re using a jug blender, use a bit of the reserved liquid to rinse the last bit of purée into the pot.
Bring back to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer slowly.
Add a generous dollop of smooth cream cheese or a bit of cream or even milk if you don’t have any of the other ingredients. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, check your seasoning and when ready serve hot with some baguette or other bread on the side.
For a slightly thicker soup you can dissolve a bit of corn starch in cold water or milk and stir that in while simmering or you can add simple croutons made with toasted bread cut into small squares – you can also dust the croutons with a bit of mixed herbs or you can add a handful of vermicelli noodles during the last part of simmering – stir frequently to avoid the noodles from sticking to the pot base and leave the pot closed for a few minutes after turning the heat off before you serve.
Adding another dollop of cream cheese on top of the soup when you serve, further enhances the cheesy flavor.
NOTE: It is entirely up to you if you want to do the pauper version or more luxurious version by either adding or omitting some of the ingredients mentioned above.
In my next post I will describe how to make a potato yeast plant for home-made sour-dough baking