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.
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.
- 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
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.
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!