We are on the verge of winter here in Chicago. I saw the first snowflakes of the season today. The best part of cold weather, in my opinion, is getting to make lots of yummy soups. This week I made a very delicious broccoli soup that was so creamy and rich that I thought someone had snuck some cream into it while I wasn’t looking. Even though I don’t usually post recipes, I thought this was just too good not to share.
1-2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 head of broccoli (approx. 1 lb), diced, stems separated from florets
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 rib of celery, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, with the peels
1 quart of vegetable or chicken stock
cheddar cheese (optional, as a garnish)
1. Heat butter or oil in a soup pot. Add the diced broccoli stems, onion, celery, carrot and potato. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the other vegetables have softened.
2. In the meantime, in a separate saute pan, heat a little more oil. Add the broccoli florets and the garlic cloves, in their peels. Saute garlic until the skins are brown and the broccoli until it is cooked, but still a little crisp.
3. Add the stock to the vegetables in the soup pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are soft all the way through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic from the saute pan, remove the skins and add garlic to the soup pot. (The easiest way is to use a knife to squeeze the garlic out like you’re squeezing toothpaste out of the tube.) Blend the soup to create a creamy base, work in batches if necessary. Add more stock or water or reduce soup until it reaches your desired consistency.
4. Add the broccoli florets and bring soup back up to a boil. Serve and garnish with cheddar cheese, if desired.
(Sorry there isn’t a picture. I wasn’t planning to post the recipe until it turned out so great. And by then it was gone.)