Saturday, January 9, 2010

Broccoli Soup

I think my new favorite food network chefs might be the Neelys. It seems like every time I turn on the TV, Down Home With the Neelys is on. I love the way the two of them work so well together in the kitchen. Granted, I'm sure majority of their moves are choreographed, but it's still nice to see them moving about seamlessly through their recipes.

I grabbed this Broccoli Soup recipe off of their food network page, and while I love broccoli, there was two things I was weary of:

1.) I've never had a pureed broccoli soup before.
2.) I'm not really a fan of creamy soups to begin with.

The figured I could tweak it a little to get through some of my fears. The amount of cream they called for was perfect, but my soup ended up more green than the picture on food network's website and I even ended up using less broccoli than the recipe called for. While we were chopping it up, my husband noticed that one of the crowns we purchased was a little mushy. I didn't want to chance it screwing up a brand new recipe, so we threw it out.

Broccoli Soup
courtesy of Down Home with the Neelys

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (for extra zing!)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (sub out vegetable broth if you're a vegetarian)
1/2 cup cream
Homemade Croutons, visit link above for recipe (I didn't make my own croutons, instead I used ::gasp!!:: store-bought.)

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, carrot, salt and pepper and saute until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the flour reaches a blonde color. Add stock and bring to boil.

Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Pour in cream. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and then replace the lid back on the pot. Serve hot with Homemade Croutons.

Servings: 4 generous bowls

Chef's Notes:
Like I said above, I had to toss one of my florets, but the soup still turned out pretty hearty. I always get nervous that a soup without any meat in it won't be that filling. I served it with a small side salad and some croutons on top and it kept me full all night. I still haven't gotten around to picking up an immersion blender for myself, so I pureed the veggies in my blender by transferring them with a ladle and large measuring cup. ***NOTE: be very careful when blending hot liquids in your blender - the steam can burn!***

Another great thing about this recipe is that it would probably taste just as good if you used vegetable broth, so you can easily adapt it for the vegetarian in your family (as long as they eat dairy products, of course!).

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