Saturday, September 10, 2011

B is for Broccoli

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Broccoli is one of my all-time favorite veggies. I absolutely hated it when I was a kid. One of my mom's favorite one-liners from my childhood years was when I would frown down at my place and stubbornly state, "no bocci" (translation = no broccoli).

As an adult I found a love for the steamed version of these tiny tree-shaped vegetables. I hate raw broccoli still, but cooked well it is completely delicious to my grown-up palate. Recently, one of my favorite ways to eat it is in soup form. It is always a challenge to find a balanced recipe that doesn't call for a ton of cheese or cream that completely masks the broccoli's flavor.

I dug up this recipe from an old issue of Real Simple magazine and with a few adjustments it may be my favorite broccoli soup recipe yet!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced fine)
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 7-8 cups chopped broccoli (I used frozen)
- 1 large russet potato (peeled and diced)
- 6 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Salt and pepper


Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, pepper and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently until the onion is soft (about 6 minutes).

2. Add the broth, water, broccoli, potato, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper to the pot and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 15-18 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to the texture you like. I don't like my veggie soups to be completely smooth purees, so I leave bits of broccoli and potato whole for texture.

4. Add in the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until completely melted and smooth. Serve it up and enjoy! I always use soups to justify serving tomato-basil bruchetta, which I could eat by the truckload for sure.

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