Friday, May 7, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe

I just wanted to post and share this recipe, since it's so popular around here! I get requests for it whenever we have company, even from people who tell me they hate broccoli as a rule! I found this in an old cookbook when I needed something to use up the last bit of a bag of broccoli that was lurking in the back of the fridge, teetering on the edge of going bad. (Everybody seems to have one of those in the fridge! *l*)

Here goes!

4 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
1/4-1/2 onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
pepper (to your taste- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp)

4 tbsp butter (1/4 cup)
4 tbsp flour (1/4 cup)
2 cups milk

salt, to taste
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)

Put the broccoli, onion, chicken broth and pepper in a pot to boil. While this gets to a full boil, melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk the butter until it's bubbling, but careful not to let it burn. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture is completely liquefied. (Make sure the heat stays on medium, or the roux will get too dark very fast and you'll just have a batch of brown gravy starter! *lol*) Add the milk and whisk until the "gravy" is thickened, when it has been boiling and bubbling for about a minute. Remove from heat. All done with phase one!

Let the broccoli pot boil, stirring every now and then, until the broccoli just falls apart when poked with a fork. Your kitchen will also just be beginning to take on that characteristic stink of cooking broccoli. Don't worry, it'll go away, and this is worth it! Now, here's the fun part! Grab any trusty stick blender you have lying around and blend it until you can't see any chunks of broccoli. If you haven't got a stick blender, a blender will do, but please be careful! This stuff is about as dangerous as napalm at this point, and it's easy to get a burn or even a steam burn during its trips from pot to blender and back to pot again. :-( All done with phase two!

Next, add the 'gravy' to the broccoli pot and mix well! I also wanted to mention that if you try to add a fixed amount of salt at the beginning, you can quite easily end up with really salty soup. Gross! So at this point, you can see if your soup needs anything to make the background flavor a nice balance of onion, chicken broth, and black pepper, as well as adding salt. We also add about 1/4 cup of sour cream- it adds a special something to the soup. :-)

Note: This soup is even better the next day! So, conveniently, you can cook it the day before you need it and just warm it up again, and the flavors will all be even better, and the soup very mild and creamy. When we're having company we put out little bowls of cheddar cheese, bacon buts, ham chunks, and even sliced jalapeƱos, so that people can add it to their soup. We also double the recipe for company (see below. :-D). Enjoy!

Doubled recipe:
8 cups broccoli
1/2 to 1 whole onion, chopped
pepper (to your taste- 1/2 to 1 tsp)

8 tbsp butter (1/2 cup)
8 tbsp flour (1/2 cup)
4 cups milk

salt, to taste
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)


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