The Attack of the Killer....Broccoli?
Yes, broccoli. A vegetable that like Brussels sprouts, people simply love to hate. I have never shared this particular aversion, and love broccoli it all its manifest glories. I recently bought an embarrassingly large head of broccoli, and then became busy. I mean busy to the point where my broccoli began to...um, "age" as it were. See?
It's not inedible......yet. I knew I had to act fast. Well, other than steamed with lemon and butter, what could I do to use (and not waste) this cancer-fighting, delicious vegetable? I will show you my other favorites, but the first solution was......Cream of Broccoli soup. First I broke the vegetable down into its constituent parts. And yes, this humble vegetable has more than one edible part ~ more on that, later.
I cut the top into florets, and peeled and sliced the stalks. Broccoli stalks are incredibly tasty ~ like a broccoli-esqe water chestnut. More on their use later. Then I assembled the goodies for my soup....
Clockwise from bottom; salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon cube (vegetarians substitute veggie stock), parsley, onion, water, garlic, olive oil, butter, sherry, broccoli and carrots.
Now, we cook....melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil in your saucepan, and add the onion, chopped, and the garlic, minced. Note: you do not have to worry about chopping these too finely, as we are going to puree' it all later. Saute' on low until soft and fragrant. Sprinkle with a pinch of that salt, too.....to make for a quicker saute'.
Then, dice up the carrots, chop the parsley, and take approximately 3 cups of those broccoli florets...like so...
Add to the pot along with the chicken bouillon, water, salt and pepper...
Cover and simmer until the broccoli is tender, approximately ten to fifteen minutes...then, get your carrots, and seasonings ready. From bottom to top I have cayenne pepper, thyme, paprika and white pepper. Add one half of the chopped carrot, and 2 Tablespoons butter, mixed with 2 Tablespoons flour. I melt the butter with the flour for thirty seconds in the microwave (a pixie-approved usage of said device, by the way), and mix together with a fork before putting into the soup.
Simmer for another five to ten minutes....just until the carrots are tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and get out your immersion blender. Use a regular blender, in batches, if you do not have an immersion blender.
Puree' the soup until it is a nice, velvety texture. Leave chunks of broccoli, if desired. Toss in the remaining carrot pieces, all the spices, and two Tablespoons sherry. Cover and simmer for another five to ten minutes, just until the second batch of carrots are tender.
The results? Well, served attractively in a soup tureen with a garnish of fresh basil.....
Or....chopped fresh parsley, or your herb of choice...
This would be a soup I would entertain with! Freshly served in a hot mug, with nice, Italian bread, toasted and buttered is how I rolled with this one! It was creamy without having to use cream....the broccoli flavor became more subtle, yet still tasty, and it was a satisfying winter lunch! Eat well, my friends, and stay tuned for what became of the rest of the killer (delicious!) broccoli, a catch-up of "something from nothing" posts, and of course, a visit from our favorite audience member, Kitchen Angel. Love and kindness to all,