If you had asked me what my least favourite foods were ten years ago, I would’ve said mayonnaise, eggplant, and broccoli (in that order) without batting an eyelid. Although I seem to have gotten over and even come to love eggplant and broccoli, there’s no love lost in the mayo department. There’s nothing you can do with it to make it palatable as far as I’m concerned.
Soups have earned a bad reputation for being ‘creamed’ all the time. Cream of tomato, cream of spinach, cream of mushroom, the list is endless. I find that most often than not, the dairy drowns out most of the flavour (and vibrant colour!) A real shame. If you’re looking to bulk up or thicken your soup, adding vegetables to your base and then blending them is one way of doing it; creaming, so to speak. The potatoes that I’ve used here do just that without sacrificing the flavour of the broccoli.
I also like to throw in all the odds and ends of the broccoli into this – stems, florets and all. Agreed you wouldn’t want to bite into the knobby green parts, but since it gets puréed anyway it just adds that extra flavour (and roughage). Also there’s nothing more satisfying than having fewer bits to throw out. Wins all around.
The goat’s cheese and walnuts add texture, but feel free to leave them out or add some croutons instead.
- 400 grams broccoli
- 1 medium potato, peeled and quartered
- ½ a small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Crumbled goat’s cheese and walnuts for garnish (optional)
- Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prep the broccoli : remove the florets. Trim the tender green stem below the florets and chop into small pieces (except the hard bottom part, the rest of the green stems can be used).
- Bring 4 cups of water to the boil in a large pot. Add the potatoes and cook until tender.
- Add the broccoli stems to the pot (along with the potatoes). Toss in the florets after 2-3 minutes, and blanch them together for 2 minutes. Take the potatoes and broccoli out of the pot using a slotted spoon and purée in a blender along with the cooked onions and garlic. Add a little of the cooking water and continue blending until smooth.
- Transfer to another clean pot and ladle in more of the cooking water just until you get the right consistency. Reheat gently, season with salt and pepper and serve.