It snowed last night – soup season has arrived! Not that it ever leaves; it is definitely acceptable to eat hot soup in the middle of the summer; but there is just something about the cold weather, and hot soup in a mug. (Yes – if you’re enjoying it correctly, it has to be served in a mug.) Since I made this soup last week before official soup weather had started, it was served in a bowl. BUT – now I can enjoy soups in over sized cups like you would see on the TV series Friends.
Soups are those meals that are simple and great because you literally throw a bunch of stuff into a pot, cover with some type of liquid, bring to a boil, puree (if you want – if not, whatever… its your soup), and eat. Easy peasy.
When I think of soup, I think of a creamy puree; but there are so many kinds – a bisque, chowder, broth, consommé; and each can have a hundred plus flavours. Dairy free, gluten free, or extra dairy and extra gluten, its up to you.
The first soup of the season for me was broccoli, one of my favourites. The partial lazy person that I am, love, love, loves to make soup, and eat it – you don’t even have to chew! I feel like a lot of people have a misconception of soup and are afraid of “mirepoix”. Let me tell you – you don’t even need a mirepoix (which if you don’t know, is 25% carrot, 25% celery, 50% onion). A mirepoix is just a flavour base, you can use your main ingredient as your flavour base if you would like – like I said, making soup is all up to you and how you like it. Once you leave culinary school and don’t have to listen to the “rules”, the fun begins.
Broccoli Soup Recipe – serves 4 (or 3 hungry adults)
½ white or Spanish onion – diced
1 stock of celery – diced
1 teaspoon of garlic, or 2 cloves minced
5 cups broccoli – chopped (florets or stem – or both)
2 small potatoes – shredded or chopped
750 ml vegetable stock (or enough to cover vegetables in pot)
- Sweat onion, celery, and garlic in a pot on medium heat.
- When above ingredients have become translucent and releasing flavours add broccoli and sauté for a minute or two.
- Add stock, make sure the stock is covering the vegetables – if you don’t have enough, add some water.
- Bring up to a boil, and add shredded potato (this will help thicken it – you can also add potatoes chopped up with the broccoli instead for the same effect)
- Simmer until vegetables are cooked (keep in mind, florets will cook faster than the stems if you’re in a hurry)
- Season according to your taste buds! (Salt, pepper, any interesting spice you enjoy with broccoli)
- Puree and serve (to create a super smooth soup, strain it before serving – this will decrease the yield amount though)
For my recipe, I added cubes of cheese in my bowl to make ‘broccoli cheddar’ soup, and I also made some croutons as garnish. There is a wide variety of options on how to finish this soup the way you desire. Leave it the way it is for that vegan friend of yours, or mix in some shredded cheese and 10% cream for the dairy lover in your life. This soup can stay in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for about 3-6 months. Each time you go to heat it up, you can change it up.
If you make this, i hope you enjoy this recipe, and hopefully it brings you some warmth on this chilly, first snow day of 2017. Be creative and put your own twist on it – its always better when it’s made the way you like it.