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13 June 2012

Bali Bliss & hubby cooks Get-Well-Soon Soup

Welcome back Vegie Patchers... it’s been an eventful few months. Our winter vegie crops are now ready for harvesting, and we continue to pick from it daily to add a little home-grown freshness to our meals. So let me share a few highlights of what we have been up to these past few months. Over Easter we shared a magnificent family holiday in Bali. Aah, the serenity ;) What beautiful people and a unique culture, so self-content. We stayed in a couple of different locations to mix it up (this is how we love to travel), including a villa with the extended family completely surrounded by rice paddies, and later up in the gorgeous mountains of eclectic and vibrant Ubud. We enjoyed quality family time at its best, saw some stunning sights & sunsets & sunrises, had regular (read: almost daily!) massages, and ate some absolutely delightful food. Balinese cuisine is distinctly tropical marrying nicely with its environment and what is readily available. We ate some sensational snapper on the beach at Jimbaren Bay as the sun set; had many a satay chicken stick; beautiful nasi goreng; succulent, juicy, spicy and fresh roast pork in Ubud; beautiful banana roti pancakes as well as a guilty pleasure of poolside burgers with the lot at a resort (best ever!). I have included a few pics below of some of our Balinese highlights (mostly food related of course!)below:

On return from Bali I hit a bit of a lowlight (is that a word?) where I ended up with such intense stomach pain, in and out of hospital, with the end result of having my gallbladder removed! It’s now been about 6 weeks and I’m happy to say that I once again feeling chipper, back to my old self and back in the kitchen (how I have missed it so!). My lovely husband, family and friends have been amazing in helping me recover. My gorgeous husband Mr K has too taken to picking our produce and whipping up some healthy family dinners, so I now have a sous chef for VPTP! 

Here’s a lovely spinach, broccoli & potato soup he made recently. Just beautiful simple flavours, very easy to throw together, low fat and above all really delicious! I have plenty of recipes coming up so stay tuned, there’s plenty more to come. Enjoy Mr K's Get-well-Soon Soup

Prep time needed: about 15 min. cooking time: 20min.

Stuff needed from kitchen: a few big saucepans, sharp knife, chopping board, blender, wooden spoon

From my vegie patch:
450g broccoli, cut into florets
100g spinach leaves/silver beet
01/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Other ingredients:
Olive oil spray
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1L (4 cups) salt-reduced vegetable stock
400g potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
½ cup natural yogurt (I use low fat, but use full fat if you prefer)
Fresh basil sprigs, to serve
Crusty bread slices, to serve

Let do it:
1.       Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Spray with oil.
2.       Add onion and stir for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute or until aromatic.
3.       Add stock and potato. Bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4.       Add broccoli and simmer for 6-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
5.       Add spinach. Simmer for 1 minute or until just wilted. Set aside to cool.
6.       Add basil leaves. Blend one-third of mixture in a blender until smooth.
7.       Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat twice with remaining mixture.
8.       Cook soup over medium heat for 2 minutes or until heated through.
9.       Combine fresh in a bowl. Divide soup among bowls. Top with pesto cream and basil sprigs. Serve with bread.

Soundtrack for my hubby as he cooks me this delicious soup (true!): I got burned by Bamboos and Tim Rogers

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