Here’s what’s cooking.

Today I was flipping through The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2007 and came across a recipe for cream of broccoli soup. Knowing that Alisa left some broccoli at our house, I decided to make it. And it was delicious. I had too much broccoli (I bought some, not all of it was Alisa’s), so I added some extra broth to compensate, and I’m not sure the texture was quite what it was supposed to be, but that didn’t seem to matter. And . . . I may have put 3/4 cup dry white wine in instead of 1/4 cup. I think I read it wrong. Regardless, it tasted fabulous (and I swear that’s not just because of the wine). It was a little bit labor-intensive, but not difficult. It just took some time to get everything chopped and cooked. But we agreed we’d use this recipe again. So, now, what goes well with a cup of cream of broccoli soup? I made cheese quesadillas, but I’m open to other suggestions.

Light Cream of Broccoli Soup

1 1/2 pounds broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, enough stalks peeled and chopped fine to make 3/4 cup (discard any remaining stalks)
1 onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 t. vegetable oil
1/2 t. salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine the chopped broccoli stalks, onion, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the wine with the bay leaf and cook until the wine is absorbed, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, gradually add the broths. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened and the broth no longer tastes of flour, about 5 minutes. Add the florets and continue to simmer, uncovered, until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

3. Puree the mixture in a blender (or food processor) until smooth, and return to a clean saucepan. Stir in the half-and-half and cook over low heat until just hot (do not boil), about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

(P.S. I served it with a little cheddar cheese on top.)

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