Doug's Broccoli Soup
I first had broccoli soup in Madison, Wisconsin, while I was in graduate school. It was in a resturant close to the Square...wish I could remember the name...on the Lake Monona side. It would be near the new (Frank Lloyd Wright !!! ) civic center, I guess. They also have great Irish Coffee. It was the dead of winter, and soup and the coffee were the best I ever had.
The Stuff That Goes in It
- broccoli, obviously. Choose some that looks good. You need enough for about 3-4 cups.
- 1 onion: chopped
- 1/2 stick of butter. Don't use olive oil.
- salt: to taste
- pepper: to taste
- 2-3 cups of chicken stock. (You can use veggie stock or water. Different taste)
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1/4 t. of thyme (sometimes I leave it out)
- a bit of nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
- a bit of allspice
- a shake or two of tamari
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- shredded cheedar or colby cheese
- some chopped green onions (if you want)
- app. 1/2 cup of Half and Half
What to do:
- Chop the broccoli and onions
- Get a stock pot, and melt the butter on medium heat (don't burn it). Put in the veggies, bay leaf, some salt and pepper, and saute them until the onions are translucent and the broccoli has softened a bit. This might take about 5 minutes or so, but use your own judgement. You should be able to tell by the way the broccoli feels in comparison to its raw state. Make sure it is still bright green and a little crunchy.
- Add the chicken broth and simmer on low heat until the broccoli is completely tender, but still bright green
- Put the mix into a blender (or food processor, in smaller batches) and puree. Texture is important, so make sure you know what your dinner partner thinks about texture. Puree accordingly. If you don't know, go for smooth, rather than chunky. Return to low heat. Remember to take out the bay leaves.
- Add the spices.
- Add the Half-and-Half, being careful not to curddle it.
- Put in bowls, with shredded cheese and ground black pepper on top.
- Serve with big chunks of bread.
Footnote: This is a variation of a recipe which can be found in Molly Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. This is an absolutely wonderful cookbook, indispensible if you are a vegetarian, and damn near indispensible even if you are not.