1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 leek or medium size onion – diced fine (avoid using the leafy part of the leek)
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, lightly roasted on an open flame and chopped
4 cups of broth or 2 stock cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water (about 1 litre of water)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tspn dried thyme or even zaatar works wonderfully (you can also go for fresh parsley or coriander)
1.1 kg of vegetables – carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, yam, and sweet potatoes (mix and match or use all)
1 can of black-eyed peas in water - drained (optional)
8 to 10 spinach leaves steamed (optional)
Whipped yoghurt/sour cream/nut cream/fresh cream for thinning and garnish (take your pick)
1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a deep pan, ideally a cast iron Dutch oven over a medium flame – we don’t want the butter to burn.
2. Toss in the minced onion or leek with a pinch of salt to soften. It becomes slightly translucent.
3. Now add the roasted garlic, lemon juice, vegetables and herbs, along with the broth. Cover and cook on a low flame for at least 30 minutes. All the vegetables will be done.
4. Let it cool for about 10 minutes or longer of necessary. It needs to be puréed, so would be dangerous to blend when hot.
5. Once it cools, blend the mix in batches. Put it back in the Dutch oven on a low flame, check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as necessary. You can thin it out by adding some water. Take off the flame.
6. Add the yoghurt/sour cream/fresh cream to taste. Mix well.
7. Chop the lightly steamed spinach, and add to the puréed mix. Similarly, add in the drained black-eyed peas. Both the spinach and peas are purely optional. You can even top with croutons, crispy fried onions, crushed nachos, fried bacon… the options are endless.
As the French would say Bon Appétit!
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