I came up with this recipe when thinking about how to get a lot of green vegetables in without having to steam them or cook them when in work. The solution seemed obvious, make a soup. Soup I find is really handy for shift work because you will nearly always have access to a microwave to reheat it, all the hard work has been done for you. One problem I find is that kale and spinach doesn’t keep for very long, and I don’t use it every day. Freezing however keeps them fresh and ready to use, perfect for making green smoothies or just adding to a soup or dish to get some extra fibre and green into you.
The recipe is one you can make in advance and requires some prep but the cooking can be done over a low heat without much interference, so you can do everything else you need to do on your rest days. You can even leave it in the pot to cool, off the heat obviously, while you’re at work before putting it into containers and freeze. You can adjust the quantities, as with any recipe, to make more but I find making a big batch and freezing it will be enough to last for at least three shifts if not four, depends how hungry you are.
Preparation to plate: 1½ hours
Serves 4-6 people
1 Large White Onion, chopped
3 Celery Stalks, chipped
1 Large Leek, chopped
1 Large Savoy Cabbage, chopped
1½-2L Chicken Stock
2 tbsp Five Spice
Olive Oil/Coconut Oil
Pepper and Salt
In a large pan, add the oil and butter and allow to gently melt. Add the chopped onion, leek and celery with some pepper and salt and cook over a medium heat, covered, until soft, stir occasionally to avoid burning. Once soft, add the cabbage, kale and spinach and cook over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Once partially cooked, add the five spice and stir in, continue cooking for a further few minutes. Add the chicken stock, turn up the heat until the stock begins to bubble then reduce to a low heat and simmer for at least half an hour. The stock should only just come up to the top of the vegetables to ensure a thick consistency, if you want a thinner soup then add more.
Use a hand blender to blitz the mixture into soup, it should be fairly thick consistency. If serving now, transfer to a bowl and enjoy, otherwise leave to cool in the pan before transferring to containers and freezing. From the picture it might not look that appetising, but try it and see what you think.