Wrapping up the behemoth project that was our photo book from African Family Vacation made me nostalgic for Kenya. It also made me slightly hostile toward my dueling shutter bugs, Kendall and Dan, for capturing one billion or so images that hijacked my laptop and from which we (I) culled 1700+ must-keep images that I then attempted to cull futher into the book until my iPhoto announced cannot add additional pages. this book already contains 100 pages – you idiot no one needs that many photos in a book, your life is not that interesting.

Editor of family history is not without its advantages. For instance, the photo of Griffin and me and my muffin top belly making a sand river on the beach will not make it into the album. Or my insistence that as a learning experience we work a tea plantation that became nothing more than a laborious drive to a shoddy factory where we were given a meek tour by a man we couldn’t understand, sipped a cup of tea and then were sent on our way – that non-story will not make it into the family history books. And being editor gave me another opportunity of looking over each photograph with intimate eyes and thus discovering the magic of animals uninhibited and the magic of children unsupervised.

Within our collection, I found photos of foods; the only photos I had taken on the trip. I was either really hungry or I really marveled at the fresh cuisine served in the isolation of the African plains.

The images of the silky soups that we were served twice daily, motivated me to try out the basic soup preparation that Chef Jackson from Governors’ Camp shared. Most of the his soups are dairy free, so he used a few strategies to give them a creamy texture without cream: add potatoes to the vegetables, blend the cooked soup in a blender, pass the blended soup through a sieve. He also starts with a mirepoix which is a combination of chopped vegetables such as onions, carrots and celery that are sauteed to heighten their flavor before adding liquids. He also punched up the flavor with some spicy heat.

celery and apple soup from chef jackson’s kitchen at governors’ camp

carrot and ginger soup from governors’ camp

I concocted broccoli soup below with Chef Jackson’s guidance in mind. Broccoli is perhaps the mightiest of all foods in nutrients and general health benefits.

Broccoli packs more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk, three times more fiber than a piece of wheat bran, and cancer-fighting properties. I figure that if I can work broccoli into a meal in some way, it’s a good day. And this simple soup recipe let’s broccoli be the star, but gives you a vegetable serving that’s easy to prepare, even easier to freeze and reheat, and one the kids will like (well some. the girl with the horns liked it, the boy with the jaw bone -not so much)

The recipe begins with sautéed celery and onions to bring out the caramelized flavors. We add in most of the remaining ingredients to cook until tender and ready for blending, seasoning, and eating.

safari relived through broccoli soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes (only 15 minutes is active work)

4 c. broccoli flowerettes

1 T olive oil

1 c. chopped onion

1/2 c. chopped celery

1/2 brown rice (optional)

1 potato peeled and chopped

4 c. vegetable stock (I used low sodium chicken stock – I like the flavor better)

1 1/2 t salt

1 t curry

1/2 t cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil and then saute onions and celery in the oil until they soften, about 4-5 minutes.

Add stock, broccoli, potato, rice and salt and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes until the potato is tender.

In batches, blend in a blender. Then push through a sieve or ricer to make the soup even smoother. Add curry and cayenne pepper and adjust with salt to taste. I topped with a curried sour cream for a dash of color.

Cook’s Options: Use any combination of vegetables that suit your tastes or what’s in your refrigerator. Omit the sieve/ricer step for a more rustic soup. Hold out one cup of the cooked broccoli from the blending step and add back in to the blended mixture for a chunkier soup. Freeze in serving size portions for quick reheat later. Top with chopped fresh herbs (thyme, chives, parsley), croutons, grated cheese, dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

recipe inspired by governor’s camp and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

3 Comments

  1. Nancy Costick says Sep 21st 2010 4:02 pm

    I am so impressed–what you have created is amazing!! Everything looks sooooo good and the best part is it’s all soooo healthy! I am forwarding to all my friends. Love that my beautiful (and healthy) grandchildren have been included…..

  2. Sherri says Sep 21st 2010 4:24 pm

    Thanks for all the nice words. Well let’s just say that I’m inspired by what my mother-in-law prepares!!!! xo Sherri

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