Gestational Diabetes friendly, Iron boosting, Mains, Morning sickness, Quick Lunch, Recipes, Snacks
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Broccoli and Almond Soup with Mint & Crème Fraiche

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When it comes to pureed soups, I think there are two types of people; those who love them and those who don’t. A bit like marmite some might say. So for those of you who already love pureed soup, you can skip this paragraph. After all, I’d be preaching to the converted! But for those of you who, like me avoid pureed soups at all costs, read on my friends. I admit that I definitely fall into the non-soup eating category and rarely make soups unless they have lots of chunky pieces of veg, meat, or noodles in them (like ramen- yum). BUT, this soup is an exception. Yes, it is pureed. And yes, I don’t just like it, I actually love it! And I’m not the only one; we used to make this broccoli soup at a cafe I worked at while I was a student in London, and it proved hugely popular. Even among the pureed soup avoiders like me. And believe me, when you realize how easy and quick this soup is to make you’ll find yourself a convert. Though, I do have to admit to adding a few ‘toppings’ to add some crunch. I know, I just couldn’t resist.

This soup makes a perfect light lunch or dinner, especially for when the last thing you feel like is cooking. And, you need very few ingredients. Actually only 3 ingredients. Though if you add the toppings, well, then you can go a little OTT like me.

Broccoli itself is somewhat of a non-trendy superfood. It is high in folate (the natural form of folic acid), and we all know how important folate is during pregnancy! It is also rich in fibre, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Ladies, those of you with gestational diabetes, I hope you are listening! (or reading, rather). It also contains iron (preventing anaemia) and magnesium to help keep those leg cramps away. Together with the almond this soup is high in protein and healthy fats, which will keep you satisfied and your blood sugar levels stable. This makes it ideal as a first trimester meal for when you might not be so hungry but want to keep the nausea at bay, or are getting bad acid reflux in your third trimester. Either way, I’m sure you’ll love this new addition to your culinary repertoire!

RECIPE             Serves 2         Total time: 15 minutes

1 large head of broccoli
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock/broth (preferably homemade)
½ cup of ground almonds
Salt & pepper to taste
For the toppings:
Fresh mint, finely chopped
Roasted sliced almonds
A dollop of crème fraiche
Garlicky croutons (see recipe below)

1.Cut the broccoli into florets and steam for 5 minutes or until soft.
2.Heat the stock up.
3.If using a hand held blender- add the stock and broccoli to a large pot and blend till smooth. Otherwise use a normal blender.
3.Add the ground almonds blend once more.
4.Season to taste and serve (preferably with toppings if you can be bothered, or with a few slices of crusty bread and butter).

Garlicky croutons: Cut a few slices of bread (preferably wholemeal) into squares and place in the oven at 180C/350F fan for about 10 minutes to allow to dry out (if you are using stale bread you can skip this step). Add a little bit of olive oil and 1 crushed garlic clove to the bread and mix. Place in the oven again for 5 minutes or until you see the bread brown and crisp up a little.

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