Monday, April 9, 2012
The Lighter Side of Cream of Broccoli Soup
So, I found a few small heads of broccoli in the fridge. I decided to make a quick cream of broccoli soup. Without the cream and with lots of crushed red pepper.
This soup took me 30 minutes from start to finish. Super quick and it was just what I wanted. It felt good putting something healthy into my body and it was perfectly spicy.
No real recipe for this one either. Just a very simple method.
Dice a small onion. I had one of those HUGE spanish onions. The ones the size of a baby's head. I used half. So, dice it up. It doesn't have to be pretty, you are going to puree the soup anyway.
Mince a few garlic cloves. I used 3 pretty good size cloves. Add more or less depending on your tastes. Please don't use garlic powder. Blech... buy some real, honest to goodness heads of garlic. Oh and that stuff in a jar is gross too. Use the real thing. Please.
Cut the broccoli into florets. Make sure you also chop up the stems of the broccoli too! How much broccoli? I would say about 1 lb or so.
Saute the onions in some coconut oil or olive oil. Add some crushed red pepper flakes. How much depends on how spicy you want your soup. I just kinda sprinkled some in. Leave them out, if you don't like spicy stuff. When the onions are soft, about 4 or 5 minutes on medium heat, add the garlic. Saute only until the you smell that fabulous aroma.
Now add the broccoli and 1 quart (4 cups) of chicken or veggie stock. I use Kitchen Basics, but Rachel Ray makes a decent chicken stock as well. Bring this to a boil and cook until the broccoli is tender. The smaller the florets, the faster this will cook.
Now blend it. You can use a blender, or an immersion blender. Like this one. I love my immersion blender.
After blending it, I added about 1/2 cup whole milk. I wanted to make this a bit creamy, but didn't want to add cream. You can add milk or cream, half and half, or just leave it the way it is. How indulgent do you want to be?
Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also added some freshly grated nutmeg. It really adds a nice depth of flavor. The kind of thing that makes people say, "hmmm... that's really good. What's in it?".
That's it. Serve it hot with some freshly baked bread. (Check out my post on no-kneed bread.) Or a nice salad.
This soup is perfect for early spring in Upstate NY. It's supposed to be cold and rainy most of the week. Make a pot and your family will thank you. Or they will start crying because they hate broccoli. Oh wait. Maybe that's just my 3 kids. Never mind.
I hope you enjoy the soup. I did!