Monday, October 28, 2013

Cream of Broccoli Soup

While shopping in Costco last week, my husband decided we needed a huge bag of broccoli florets...3 pounds huge, to be exact. Broccoli is a vegetable favorite in this household, but with our weekly box of farm-fresh vegetables and fruits from SLO Veg, I had my doubts. So a week goes by and I still had not busted open the bag yet. 

I mean, all week I pretty much had my hands full with carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, Swiss chard, red bell peppers, green onions, sweet potatoes, avocados and peaches, plums and OATS...I still have not tried the "certified organic" rolled oats from With the Grain farm in Atascadero. I think I had way more time to cook when I was working nights. Oh well.

Today it was raining and cold out, so I figured it was perfect weather for soup -- broccoli soup! First thing I did was slice up a whole onion, along with one of the green onions from SLO Veg, and sauteed it with some butter in a stock pot. I mashed up a few cloves of garlic and added that in for the last minute or so, then put the whole mix into the blender and pureed it. I ended up with a nice, thick oniony paste. I put that into my crock pot and turned to the broccoli. Since the broccoli was already trimmed, I put half of the bag (so 1-1/2 lbs.) into a pot of water and put the lid on and let it come to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Then I ladled the broccoli into the blender (it took two blender batches for this) and added a couple of ladles of broccoli water, then pureed the broccoli. I took care to use the lid and only added enough water to fill the blender halfway, with the broccoli florets going all the way to the top of the carafe. That made a nice thick broccoli puree. I poured the blender batches into the onion mixture that was in the crock pot and seasoned it all with cayenne pepper, nutmeg, chicken broth powder, salt and pepper. Then, inspired, I added some fresh thyme from the little plant I received from SLO Veg a few mnths back. So at this point, I figured I had sort of skipped the step of making a roux with flour and butter and onion, and I didn't see the need for flour. I left it out and added a cup of coconut milk, because that all we had in the frig. Then I stirred in about a cup of grated Mexican cheddar cheese blend and our soup was ready. Except we weren't ready. We were in the middle of watching our DVRd versions of Sleep Hollow and The Mentalist. Hence the crock pot. That is such a handy kitchen neccessity.

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