Published February 20, 2013 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
It’s officially soup weather here in California. America is in the thick of February, the coldest weeks of winter, and no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to stay warm. I have a little space heater under my desk; it’s constantly on “high” blowing warm air directly onto my sock feet. I sip tea all day long and snuggle inside my sweater, dreaming about that Mediterranean vacation I took with my husband several summers ago. Back in November, I was excited to welcome back the cold. I looked forward to the rain, the clouds, and that brief (and relatively mild) change of season we experience here in Southern California. But never mind that. I’m ready for spring… it can’t get here fast enough!
The good news about soup weather is that it coaxes me into testing new recipes. I dream up soups all year long, even when it’s hot outside. I have a notebook where I scribble down recipe inspiration, and it’s full of soup ideas. Recently I looked in the notebook and noticed a scribble I made several months ago:
Broccoli soup, thickened with potatoes. Tahini??
The idea may have occurred to me after making a batch of my Autumn Sweet Potato Soup, which is enhanced by peanut butter. If peanut butter can add richness and creaminess to soup, why not tahini (which is essentially sesame butter, or paste)? I decided to play around using up some ingredients I had in the fridge… broccoli, onion, garlic, a parsnip, some fresh dill. After spicing it just so, I served a bowl to my husband. I didn’t expect to nail it on the first try, but he was thrilled. After two bowlfuls, he declared it one of his new favorites. I like it too. We’re trying to work more vegetables into our winter diet, and this soup is a perfect way to get our healthy cruciferous greens. It’s vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, yet also creamy and filling. The soup is rich in protein and calcium thanks to the tahini paste. It’s health food that doesn’t really taste like health food. I’m sure I’ll be making this one a few more times before soup season comes to a close.
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