Twink's Treats: Broccoli in the Soup
Broccoli. Many turn up their noses and say “yuck”, but I say I could eat it every day. Seriously – I could. Broccoli is from the cabbage family, “Brassica Oleracea”, and is an edible green plant whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable. Originally from the northern Mediterranean, it was first introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants. Also in this family are cauliflower and cabbage. Broccoli is a great antioxidant and source of calcium, Vitamins A, C and K. I love it steamed, with butter and lots of lemon juice, in a casserole (what says yummy more than a Broccoli Casserole!),stir-fried, raw with a great dip – you name it. I particularly love Broccoli Soup.
Soup in August, you say? I say yes! Creamy, but loaded with nutrients and comfort, it is a quick meal and one that knows no season. I serve it for dinner with a big salad and good bread, or as a first course at a dinner gathering. Here’s my version:
Twink’s Cream of Broccoli Soup
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
½ t. salt
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson’s)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 16 ounce package frozen broccoli (or 1 head fresh broccoli, cut up)
1 cup half and half (Land o Lakes)
Freshly ground pepper
Shredded Cheddar cheese
In Dutch oven, cook onion in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add diced potato, salt, chicken broth, lemon juice and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until potato is tender. Add broccoli, and simmer until broccoli is soft – about 5-8 minutes.
Puree in batches in blender (be careful when pureeing hot liquids!). Return to pot, and half and half. Stir, add freshly ground pepper and more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese and bacon. Enjoy!!
Until next time, be kinder than necessary and remember – those who don’t believe in miracles will never find one!! -Twink