Bridget Quick’s Jerusalem Artichoke & Kokihi (NZ Spinach) Soup Recipe

Make the most of our native ingredients

Bridget’s Jerusalem artichoke and kokihi soup. Picture / Supplied.

Though the benefits of going green are well publicised, not many people realise that some of the most powerful leafy vegetables are grown on our doorstep.

“According to research conducted by Otago and Aucklaand universities, New Zealand’s native greens contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any plant on the planet — three times the amount of blueberries, considered the gold standard,” says food writer Bridget Quick. “It’s no wonder that Maori celebrated their use, cultivating and foraging for wild greens daily.”

The paleo coach and adviser on Maori Television’s The Native Diet recommends planting kokihi (native spinach), or puha this spring to reap the benefits of the antioxidant-rich produce.

“Kokihi is incredibly easy to grow, but you can also find it wild near the ocean, growing on the edges of dunes.”

Combining kokihi with local Jerusalem artichokes — found at markets or organic stores — makes for a delicious soup which Bridget shares at Viva.co.nz this week.

“It’s one of my favourite post-winter pick-me-ups,” she says. “A divinely subtle soup, that’s delicious but also a powerhouse of nutrients.”

• Bridget Quick offers personal diet, wellness and cooking mentoring for people wanting to improve health and wellbeing. Contact her on bridgetquick@xtra.co.nz

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE & KOKIHI (NZ SPINACH) SOUP
Serves 4

• 3-4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (more for drizzling)
• 1 large onion, diced
• 450g Jerusalem artichokes, roughly chopped
• 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 Tbsp freshly chopped oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
• 1 tsp sea salt (use less if using table salt)
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 6-7 cups water
• 2 heaped tsp Rapunzel Organic Bouillon Powder
• 2 bay leaves
• 200g Kokihi (NZ spinach)
• Handful of broccoli florets
• Handful of chopped coriander (optional)
• Zest of 1 small lemon
• Juice of 1/2 small lemon (+ more to taste)
• 1 cup Ceres organic coconut cream (use coconut milk if not organic, as it has a similar consistency)

1. In a large saucepan on medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add artichokes and sauté for a further 7 minute..
3. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic and saute for a further 7 minutes, gradually adding a half-cup of water as you go.
4. Add the bouillon stock, remaining water, bay leaves and gently simmer for approx 30 minutes, or till the Jerusalem artichokes are soft.
5. Cut away the gnarlier stems and roughly chop the leafy greens. Add to the soup, along with broccoli, coriander, lemon zest, lemon juice and coconut milk. Simmer for another 7 minutes.
6. Remove the bay leaves (don’t forget) and, using a stick blender, blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add a little extra lemon if needed.
7. Ladle the soup into bowls, season with sea salt & black pepper and drizzle with quality extra-virgin olive oil.
Enjoy!

NOTE: Try health food stores, farmers markets or community gardens for Jerusalem artichokes.

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