Super Simple Broccoli Soup
January 16, 2019
I only have one thing one my mind at mealtime right now: steaming hot food. Here is a simple soup that can be made in less than 30 minutes or made-ahead and frozen for when the mood suits. The leeks add a delicious flavor and you can use the technique that you learned last week (see A Vibrant Winter Stir Fry) to use the stems of the broccoli. You can even make this soup with just stems, reserving the florets for other, more showy uses.
Delicious as it is versatile: serve this attractive soup neat or top with chopped basil, a swirl of truffle oil and shaved parmesan or toasted sesame oil and black sesame seeds for more exotic variations.
Secrets for Success:
Be sure to wash leeks carefully. They can be very sandy.
Best technique for washing leeks: cut them first and then put in a bowl of cold water. Move around lightly with your hands. Scoop them out of the water into a colander. Discard water. Repeat as necessary until no sand remains in the bowl.
Try to cook the broccoli for as little amount of time as possible so it keeps its bright green color.
Same is true for the salt: it helps to keep the broccoli green.
Also, as this soup is so simple, proper seasoning with salt and pepper will be the difference between a delicious potage or a bland bowl.
Do be careful with the salt if using commercial broth. It often has a high sodium content.
Don’t skip the potato. It is the thickener in the soup.
Always remember that thin soup can be boiled to thicken. Likewise, add stock or water to thin soup to desired consistency.
This soup freezes well!
Super Simple Broccoli Soup
This soup is ready in less than 30 minutes. Cook the broccoli for 10 minutes or less so it keeps its bright green color.
Scant 2 pounds broccoli
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 small ½ to ¾ lbs.) Idaho potato, peeled and thinly-sliced
5-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
Separate the broccoli crowns from the stalks and cut them into florets more or less the same size, not too big. Peel the stalks so that none of the thick fibrous outer layer remains, then slice thinly, crosswise.
Heat the oil in a wide soup pot. When hot, add the leeks and cook covered, without coloring (sweat), on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until softened. Add the potato and broccoli stem, season with a scant teaspoon salt, add 2 cups stock, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and 3 1/4 more cups stock (reserving the remaining ¾ cups) and simmer, covered, just until the broccoli is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool briefly, then puree until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more stock if the soup is too thin.
Makes 8 cups.