Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Very Green Broccoli Soup

I'm declaring it officially soup season (since I've made two pots in one week)!  To be honest, I didn't have much choice (I couldn't fit all the chicken stock I made this weekend in the freezer).  This recipe is from Michael Chiarello.  I tried it because in addition to the broccoli, it also sneaks in a fair amount of spinach (something neither Chuck nor Maddie is pleased to see on its own).  So big points for being so nutritious (and the pretty green color).

Makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 pounds broccoli
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
2 cups packed spinach
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream or buttermilk (if using buttermilk, cut the lemon zest in half)

1.      Cut the broccoli florets from the stems. Peel the tough outer skin from the stems and trim off the fibrous ends. Cut the stems lengthwise into slices about 1/2-inch thick and then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
2.      Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook until light brown. Add the onion and celery, lower the heat to medium, and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables slowly until tender, about 10 minutes. Regulate the heat so the vegetables cook without taking on color.
3.      Add the thyme and stir. Add the broccoli stems, stock, and salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for about 3 minutes. Add the florets and continue to cook until very tender, about 5 minutes more.
4.      Add the spinach and lemon zest.  Puree the soup using an immersion blender.  (The soup can be made to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month.)
5.      Return the soup to the pan and reheat over gentle heat. Stir in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Copyright © by Michael Chiarello.  All rights reserved.

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