Broccoli Soup with Flakes of Cheddar

This recipe is for my friend, Margo, who hosts a wonderful weekly poetry blog at Wordgathering.  If you ever thought that poetry was for ‘other people but not me’, then I heartily recommend her approach to writing poems. Good fun was never so fun.

broccoliSoup_3Jan13

And so to soup. Broccoli. That green stuff that looks like trees. That green stuff that GW Bush, Sr., refused to eat. Trust me when I say that transforming green trees into soup is a revelation. It’s delicious. However – if you hate broccoli, you’ll still hate it, but at least you can drink it.

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced roughly
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 500ml/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (just enough to almost cover the broccoli in your saucepan)
  • 500g/1 lb broccoli florets cut into similar sizes so they cook evenly (you can also measure that amount needed by generously filling 2 soup bowls, if serving 2 people)
  • salt to taste, and lots freshly ground black pepper (if you like pepper)
  • thin shavings of cheddar cheese or crumbled chunks
  • a mere drizzle cream or milk, to serve

Method

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for 1 minute until it starts to turn translucent, then add the garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Don’t allow the garlic to brown or it will taste bitter.

2. Pour the chicken or vegetable stock into the saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil. Add the broccoli florets, poking the florets so their stems point downward. By adding the broccoli to boiling stock, the brilliant green colour is fixed and won’t leach out. If you put broccoli into cold water and then bring it to a boil, the green colour turns greyish and runs into the water

3. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer until tender, maybe 8-10 minutes

4. Place a strainer over a large bowl, and drain the stock and broccoli catching the stock in the bowl. Put the cooked broccoli mixture back into the saucepan, and pour over just enough of the stock to cover the florets. Blitz with your handblender until smooth and thick. If it’s too thick (which is better at this point than too thin), add a bit more stock and blitz again – repeating until you have the flavour and texture you want.

5. Taste, adjust seasoning, pour into warmed bowls. Swirl in a bit of cream and scatter the cheddar cheese on top. then transfer to a liquidizer.

Serves 2

Notes:

1. Frozen broccoli, even the cheapest supermarket own-brand, works fine for this.

2. Once cooled to room temperature, you can freeze this in zip-lock bags in one bowl serving sizes. When you want soup in a hurry, just thaw in the microwave and rewarm.

3. I recently added peri-peri spice mix instead of black pepper, and WOAH! Good!

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. veggieval says:

    Another great one, Misky. Do explain peri-peri for us Americans, please. Thanks.

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Val,

      It’s Portuguese. The mix contains lemon zest, chillies, dried onion and garlic, coriander seeds, dried basil and oregano, and lemon juice. Very delish!

      1. veggieval says:

        Thanks! Sounds DIVINE! I bet I can find it online.

  2. margo roby says:

    Thank you, ma’am. My mother makes broccoli soup and freezes it by the gallon. I have never been able to get the recipe from her. I would get: ‘Well, you know, broccoli and …’. I need a real recipe the first few times [although that’s relaxing!]. The peri-peri sounds to die for. I’m going to write it on my list now.

    m

    1. Misky says:

      Sometimes people who cook instinctually can’t tell you how it’s done – it’s like someone who plays the piano by ear being asked to teach piano lessons. 😀 The best way to learn your mum’s method is to stand by her side and write down what she does as she make the soup.

      Peri-Peri is wonderful stuff. Deliciously spicy but the heat doesn’t undermine the flavour of the food. It improves everything it touches. Do you have a favourite spice or herb?

      1. margo roby says:

        Hmmm. Excuse me while I go stare at the cupboard. Of course. Silly me. Cumin, which is far more versatile than people realise. I found a place, here, where I might be able to pick up the peri-peri. But meanwhile, cumin?

  3. Misky says:

    Cumin is lovely. Have you tried making a rub using cumin? This one is good.

    2 tsp fennel seeds
    2 tsp cumin seeds
    2 tsp coriander seeds
    2 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp harissa paste
    1 tbsp salt (flaked or course sea salt)
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
    1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

    Just pound the dry ingredients to a powder or toss it into a food processor, and then mix in the garlic and harissa. Rub it on lamb or beef. Quite nice.

    1. cecilia says:

      THAT sounds really good too.. I have never really made rubs, though i do make brocolli soup sometimes! c

      1. Misky says:

        Sometimes meat that’s tough as an old shoe needs a bit of rubbing! 😉

  4. 2 recipes on one page – fab!! Happy New Year 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Happy new year to you, too, Claire!! 😀

  5. I love broccoli soup…actually I love broccoli. My kids don’t have that same love, but I’m sure I can still convince them. A working progress over the next 15 years?

    1. Misky says:

      It’s tough one when kids decide they don’t like the taste of something, and broccoli is such a strong flavour for little ones. Best of luck to you!

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