Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Broccoli Soup

Total Time: 35 minutes

Grade: A-

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated (November 1996)

There are still a lot of recipes from the January 2010 Cook's Illustrated magazine that I want to try (and March was just put online!), but I am very, very busy at the moment. I'm also trying to clean out my freezer, pantry and fridge before buying any new ingredients as much as possible.

So, I had a huge bag of broccoli florets that needed to be used up. I remembered a pureed broccoli soup that I used to make from a Jane Brody cook book that I no longer own. The Cook's Illustrated recipe looked similar (as far as I can remember) so I tried it. It is very simple to make and I thought it tasted very good. The only minor flaw was that I didn't probably puree long enough, and the little pieces of florets created a texture that wasn't always the most pleasing (when they clumped up.) But it wasn't too much of a problem.

It was still very good 2 days later. It is a great way to use up broccoli before it goes bad. I sprinkled with a little cheddar cheese when serving which you may see in the picture.

In my cooking time, I also made some home made croutons from two pieces of almost getting stale wheat bread. They were a delicious addition to the soup. I'll do that again since it was so easy.

I can't post the recipe, but here are the ingredients. You basically just saute the onions, add the wine or sherry (I used Vermouth) and then cook the broth and broccoli until very tender (but not army green.) Then puree in a blender with the milk. I used less salt than called for and it was plenty.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or olive oil (you could get by with less)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine (I used Vermouth which I always have on hand)
5 cups broccoli florets cut small
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon table salt (I used half)
ground white pepper (I forgot this)
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)

The original recipe calls from fresh basil which I am sure is great, but I skipped.

For the croutons, I did a 1/2" dice with a serrated knife on two slices of wheat bread. I sprayed with Olive Oil spray and tossed in a bowl with a few shakes of salt. I was pretty generous with the spray and sprayed more than once after tossing, so I wouldn't say it was 2 calories. :-) However, it is a lot lighter this way than tossing with oil. The spray is nice because you can add evenly without needing so much.

Then I baked for abou 10 minutes at 350, tossing once halfway through. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

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