Start to Finish: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner
A creamy soup offers a delicious way to incorporate broccoli into the diets of even the pickiest eaters. Develop complexity in the soup by incorporating other vegetables and plenty of aromatics. Serve the soup as a main course, accompanied by bread and salad, or as an appetizer.
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small pouch made from aluminum foil, cover the garlic with 1/4 cup olive oil. Seal the pouch and place in a small baking pan. Roast the garlic for 10 to 12 minutes, or until soft.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat until fragrant. Slip the garlic confit from the skins and add to the pan. Add the onion, celery, carrot, shallot, broccoli, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Do not brown the vegetables.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. Continue to stir and cook for about 10 minutes or until the flour turns light blond to make a roux.
Add the chicken stock to the pot slowly, stirring to prevent any lumps. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are softened and the broth appears to thicken, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pan. Alternatively, puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.
Whisk in the cream and return the soup to a simmer. Stir in the lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Divide among bowls and garnish as desired.
Tips and Variations
- Take care when transferring hot soup to the blender and back. When removing the blender lid, watch out for escaping steam.
- If the soup is too thick after pureeing, thin it with extra chicken stock.
- If the soup is too thin, stir in additional cream and simmer for several minutes to thicken. For an extra thick and creamy soup, add cubes of stale bread during the first simmer and puree with the soup.
- Cream of broccoli soup tends to look dull in color. For a more vibrant green appearance, add 1/4 cup fresh flat parsley to the soup just before pureeing.
- Replace the cumin with nutmeg and stir in 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese after pureeing the soup for a creamy broccoli cheddar soup.
- Vary your aromatics, adding extra garlic, bay leaves, thyme, chilies or scallions.
- Hollow out small boules to create bread bowls in which to serve the soup.
- Garnish the soup with a dollop of sour cream, chopped crispy bacon and fresh herbs.
- Add crunch to the soup with a sprinkling of toasted nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, or homemade croutons.
- Photo Credit beti gorse/iStock/Getty Images
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