Monday, February 2, 2009
2 Recipe #44: Corey's Cream of Broccoli Soup
To continue the theme of winter soups, below is an original recipe, "Corey's Cream of Broccoli." I've preserved all of the best elements of cream of broccoli soup but have made it a lot healthier than the standard "cream of" type soups. :) You'll most likely be surprised to find that it tastes no less creamy than the original standard versions. The trick to keeping the soup creamy tasting is to use "cream substitutes" like lite nondairy creamer mixed with skim milk or nonfat plain soy milk, & thicken it with a dab of flour. :)
Also, here's a "green" tip: To save on the number of cookware pieces you'll have to wash in the dishwasher, & thus also conserve water & energy, I find that it's easiest to cook everything in 1 pot, instead of using a separate saute pan to cook the mirepoix or the roux.
Honestly, making the traditional roue of butter, flour, & mix isn't really necessary to do as a separate step; also, it's healthier to skip the additional butter & instead just add the flour & milk into the soup at the final step.
Also, be sure to sample your soup as you're cooking to make sure it has the right balance of seasonings. As mentioned in the previous post, you can always add more seasoning later, but in a soup, it becomes a bit trickier to take it away. :)
Corey's Cream of Broccoli
3 large shallots, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. sherry (Note: Use liquid measuring cups!)
8 c. broccoli (about 2 large "heads" of broccoli, including stalks), chopped into approximately 2" pieces
3 c. water
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme (Note: You can use dried leaves or ground).
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley (Note: If you use fresh parsley, just toss in a small bunch. :) )
salt & pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk mixture: 1 1/2 c. skim milk + 1/2 c. non-dairy creamer (I use Nestle Low-Fat Coffee-Mate, original flavor) (Alternative: 2 c. nonfat plain soy milk.)
1 dash nutmeg
1 tsp. chervil
1 Yukon Gold potato - boiled, peeled, & diced
1. If using potato, boil it (unpeeled!) in salted water until tender. Dice into 1-1 1/2" chunks & set aside.
2.Sauté shallots & celery in butter in large soup/stock pot. Cook until tender.
3. Deglaze bottom of pot with sherry. Stir.
4. Add broccoli (I use all parts, florets & stalks), (potato, if using), water, & all of the spices (including optional spices, if using). Cook for about 10 minutes.
5. Purée soup in blender & return to heat.
6. Add flour & milk into soup & stir thoroughly. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until soup has reached a thick consistency. Remove from heat & stir.
Yield: 4 servings.
Chef's Notes: The version I made today did not include the optional ingredients of nutmeg, chervil, & potato. However, I've made similar "cream of" type soups using these ingredients & it definitely will give your soup a richer & more complex flavor. Be careful to only use a dash of nutmeg, as it can make the soup bitter-tasting if you use too much. Those of you who may not have used chervil before, it's a very mild-tasting spice, which happens to be related to parsley. (I think its flavor is also similar to parsley but not as strong.)