Welcome, welcome! I’m extremely thrilled to post the very first installment of my new Week Of… blog series, where every week’s recipes revolve around a stated theme. Without further ado, this week’s theme is BROCCOLI!
If you just groaned, it’s okay. I don’t judge you one bit. The reason I picked broccoli is because it seemed very appropriate for the beginning of the year, when people are making New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier. And while I’m not really making any per se, one of my food goals is (and has been) to like broccoli. While I’ve done very, very well at eating and liking my vegetables since my mid-twenties, broccoli is one that has kept not working for me. But it is so incredibly good for you that I feel I have to give it another try.
So that’s what this week is all about. Finding new and interesting ways to cook broccoli so that I might actually enjoy eating it! First up, we have soup. Reason being, the broccoli is pureed, so I cannot possibly complain about the texture (something I have vehemently done in the past).
But instead of the more common broccoli cheese soup, I wanted to find a soup I would like that didn’t drown the vegetable in cheese (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course). I’m always fond of basil, so this soup was really enjoyable for me. Win! Oh, and the goat cheese toasts on top didn’t hurt anything, either. Of course. But, in all seriousness, I did really enjoy this soup. I hope you will too, regardless of where you fall on the broccoli spectrum. And stay tuned, for on Wednesday I shall bring you broccoli in the form of a delicious Asian appetizer – you don’t want to miss it!
Quick recipe note: the recipe does not call for adding any dairy. I swirled in a touch of heavy cream to improve the pictures. While quite tasty, the soup without the cream is a shade of green that just doesn’t photograph well. You food bloggers know what I’m talking about. So I added the cream to change the color. Taste-wise, I actually preferred it without the cream. Go figure!
1 large head of broccoli, florets removed from the stalk
1 shallot, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
4 cups vegetable stock
A good handful of fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
Small crusty bread slices, such as a sliced baguette
3-4 oz. goat cheese
Prep the broccoli by chopping the florets into small-ish pieces. Then peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler, trim the ends and chop into 1-inch pieces.
Drizzle a little olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until softened. Next add the broccoli florets and stalks and stir a few times just to coat them with the oil and sauté just a tad. Add the vegetable stock. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once it boils, turn the heat down and simmer until the broccoli is tender but not mushy, about 15-20 minutes. Test the doneness – a sharp paring knife should slide easily into the stalk pieces.
When done, shut off the heat and add the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then puree the soup with an immersion blender or carefully in your regular blender, working in batches if need be.
Meanwhile, toast your bread slices and then immediately smear them with a generous amount of goat cheese.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with 1 or 2 goat cheese toasts on the side.