Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love Broccoli

Oh yes I do.
But the brilliance of it in soup has eluded me.

In my world previously, broccoli soups were chopped, in a broth with onions and orzo pasta. I'm not partial to the texture of this vegetable simmered in liquid, which could be an issue that others have too. Broccoli should have crunch from roasting, baking, or sauteeing.

Could I believe that a broccoli soup could be scrumptious? Now I do; how about a puree of potato, onion, shallots, garlic, and the cruciferous vegetable, topped with some fresh croutons slicked with mustard and some white cheddar cheese? It's a recipe I bookmarked a long time ago from one of my favorite inspirations spots, 101 Cookbooks. I altered the recipe to suit what I had available, and it was entirely easy and scrumptious.
Boy do I love the immersion blender, pureed soups are always a breeze with it!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

5 ounces of french bread, cubed
scant 1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
pinch of salt
3 small, 2 medium, or 1 large potato (whatever you have), peeled and cut into cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
12 ounces broccoli florets (about 3 small heads)
2/3 cup sharp white cheddar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
dollop of light sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, and salt together in a bowl, and add the cubed bread. Toss to coat evenly, and spread on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Place a large saucepan or soup pot (I used my small dutch oven) and heat over medium. Melt the butter, then add the shallots, onion and pinch of salt. Saute until the onion softens, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir, cover, and lower the heat slightly. Cook for about 4 minutes until the potatoes soften. Uncover and add the garlic, and the broth. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes, tasting the potatoes for tenderness. When they are, add the broccoli and cook for 2-4 minutes, just until the broccoli is tender.
Turn the heat off and puree with an immersion blender. Stir in half of the cheese, the Dijon mustard, and the light sour cream if you want. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if desired.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with a bit of the remaining cheese, a handful of croutons, and a tiny dot of sour cream.


Erica said...

Hey girlie :) I made a similar soup recently and loveeed it! I think people are put off when soups are green, but I have yet to find a green soup I don't enjoy. Hope you are having a nice weekend

Kelly said...

Looks gorgeous. I too have a broccoli soup that I love, although mine is entirely different:
It has peanut butter and red curry paste in it and is extremely yummy. Mmmm. I'm craving it right now.