#46 cream of broccoli soup

With time, I have come to understand the art of soup making.  In essence, most cream soups are prepared in the same manner and you can usually work with a great number of vegetables for a rich creamy soup.  Thick soups – unlike their thin clear counterparts – are usually classified depending on the thickening agent used.  Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch, bisques are made from puréed shellfish (see my Steamed Mussel Bisque recipe), or vegetable soups thickened with cream, like this particular cream of broccoli soup.

After many years of using the regular food processor blender to process my soups until smooth, I finally got my hands on a great and highly-recommended immersion blender.  Nothing like it!  You can easily blend or purée food in the container in which they are being prepared, which is beyond convenient.  These guys are unique in the way they purée soups and emulsify sauces, and are clearly distinguished from hand mixers, which mix but do not chop.  In any case, soups are just the beginning of all the things you can use your immersion blender for: puréeing, emulsifying, pulsing, blitzing…

For the Soup

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup (150g) of chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 pounds (1350g) of broccoli
  • 1/4 cup (30g) of flour
  • 4 cups (1L) of chicken stock
  • 1 cup (240ml) of heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper
  • Grated Gouda

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned.  Stir in the broccoli, trimmed and coarsely chopped.  It doesn’t really matter how coarsely chopped everything is, the immersion blender does its magic in the end, so don’t spend too much time getting the perfect broccoli pieces out.  I usually just chop it all up, stalks & all.  By the way, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, and my girls love it, preferring the steamed florets to the soup any day!

Cover the broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the flour and turn the heat to high.  Slowly stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered until the broccoli is very tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This recipe works well with cauliflower, too…but I don’t know how that particular type of soup would fare around here.

Using your quick & easy immersion blender, process until smooth.  Stir in the heavy cream (or milk) and heat through on low, but do not boil.  Add salt & pepper according to taste.  My husband described this particular soup as a neutral blend perfect for every palate.  Garnishes such as bacon and grated cheese can add the finishing touches, but I would also recommend any additional ingredients while cooking to enhance the tastes of the soup for any particular situation or special guest!

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