Friday, October 26, 2007

Cream of Broccoli Soup



OK. I admit it. I'm not a huge fan of vegetables. I mean I eat them because I know I should. I eat them because occasionally I do crave something ... healthful. Granted, it's not the same kind of craving as chocolate, but sometimes I want something crisp and fresh and quick, and some vegetables - broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts - hit just that spot. I recently read that Elise craves broccoli sometimes, too. It's that bright green color, that crunch, that knowledge that your body is going to really put this bite of food to good use. Ever feel that way?



We eat a lot of broccoli. As I've said before - Brad is picky. Not finicky, really, because he rarely refuses to eat something, but if he has his druthers he probably wouldn't ever put something green on his plate. That's why God sent him a wife. A wife like me to be exact - because I don't - won't - cook two meals, and my refusal to do so has actually led him to eat things he never ate before he met me. Broccoli is included in that list. And now? Now he asks for broccoli when he knows I'm making dinner. When he wants broccoli, however, he wants it steamed and no stems. Ho hum, I say. I do eat it that way because, again, it's quick, but I'd rather have that crunch. I love broccoli stir-fried or raw. I actually prefer the stems. It's all a texture thing with me - crunchy makes me happy. Mushy is his thing.

So we compromise, and we have soup. And this soup from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food is our favorite so far. It's just creamy enough, but it still has a great broccoli flavor, and it doesn't have cheese in it. I like that because as tasty as broccoli-cheese soup is, it's just too cheesy. You know? Where is the broccoli flavor?

If it's broccoli you want and it's soup you crave, give this one a try.



Cream of Broccoli Soup
Martha Stewart - Everyday Food

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14.5 oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large head broccoli (about 3 pounds), trimmed, stalks peeled, stalks and florets finely chopped
1 medium baking potato
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

Directions:
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, broccoli and potato, and 2 cups water; season generously with salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until broccoli and potato are just tender, about 4 minutes.

2. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender (fill it no more than halfway) and return to pot. Stir in cream and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

To freeze: Cool soup to room temperature. Pour about 1 1/2 cups into each of 6 airtight containers. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in microwave or overnight in refrigerator over low heat.