A Bowlful of Broccoli
And now, for Part Two of the Brassica vegetable love fest! (Yesterday, I shared my newfound love for cauliflower.) Today, broccoli is on the menu, served in a soup bowl.
In addition to broccoli and cauliflower, the Brassica family includes cruciferous siblings such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale. If you want to keep the doc away, get cozy with these antioxidant champions. I'm predicting that just a few years down the road scientists will discover that the Brassica family is the golden key to age prevention. Just a hunch...
But I digress. Broccoli, I've discovered, makes a luscious bowl of soup. And while you're at it, hold the cheddar cheese; I promise you won't miss it. The recipe below is a delightful surprise, as I anticipated needing some kind of dairy to hold it together. A few potatoes do all the body work, and not a stitch of cream or milk is added.
Better still, this soup is work-week friendly. After a long day of writing, I couldn't get started until nearly 8 last night. Within an hour, soup was on. The result is a rich, full-flavored, warming potage that also happens to be low in fat and full of nutrients. I felt like I was really taking care of myself last night. What a concept!
A few tricks: As I've mentioned before about making purees, a hand-held stick blender is ideal, as it allows you to puree everything right in the soup pot. It's a relatively inexpensive kitchen tool with lots of utility. Additionally, if you've got a food mill laying around with nothing to do, now's the time to pull her out of the cabinets. A run through the mill eliminates more of those floret bits, giving the puree an even smoother texture.
Go on, give it a whirl! I've got my money on a broccoli soup love-a-athon. Got a different take on broccoli soup, or matters of the broccoli heart? Please share in the comments area below.
Inspired by "In Great Taste" by Evelyn H. Lauder
1 leek, cleaned, root and dark green woody top removed, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium potatoes, cleaned, peeled of blemishes and chopped
1 pound broccoli, florets and stems, chopped into 1-inch chunks
A few sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
Water or stock
Â½ teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
Add enough olive oil to cover bottom surface of large soup pot and warm over medium heat. Add leek, garlic and onion, and stir, until onion is translucent.
Add potatoes and broccoli, then enough water or stock to barely cover vegetables. Add thyme, if using. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a simmer, until veggies are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove thyme sprigs from pot and take pot off heat. With a handheld stick blender, puree soup directly in pot. Alternatively, puree in a blender or food processor, in batches.
Pass puree through a food mill, if you have one. Return puree to pot and season with salt, pepper and spices. Stir to combine. Simmer over low heat until ready to serve.
Garnish option: Toasted slabs of country bread rubbed with garlic, then sliced into croutons. A sprinkling of parmigiano is nice, too.
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