I had oceans of frozen broccoli in my freezer recently, and I was looking for new ways to cook it up into something delicious. There’s only so many times a girl can eat broccoli with melted cheese. Well, maybe not, but still this Cream of Broccoli Soup from Rebecca caught my eye as something new and intriguing to try. I didn’t opt to make the homemade crème fraiche but I did add a dollop of the storebought variety and it adds a wonderful tang. I think you’ll like this one. It’s a healthy bowl of goodness and full of flavor.
You will need: butter, onion, broccoli, stock, potato, white pepper and crème fraiche.
Note: The crème fraiche is optional but so, so simple to make. All you need is buttermilk, heavy cream, a bowl and a whisk. Rebecca’s recipe includes instructions on making your own—just remember to make it the day before so it will be ready when your soup is done.
Begin by dicing your onions.
Add the onions and sweat, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice your potatoes.
Then add the broccoli to the pot …
Along with the potatoes.
Cover with your stock and stir gently.
Cover partially with a lid and let simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
Then transfer in batches to a blender and puree until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper, fresh herbs, and a dollop of crème fraiche, plain yogurt or sour cream. It is even delicious served room temperature or cold on a hot day. And it will store well in sealed containers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Give this a try!
Cream of Broccoli soup that puts the spotlight right where it should be: on the broccoli! Psst. It’s good for you!
Plus, quit paying mega-bucks for creme fraiche. No “I live in the boonies” excuses, people. Make two cups of your own creme fraiche for less than a buck.
- FOR THE SOUP:
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 whole Small Cooking Onion, Peeled And Diced
- 4 cups Broccoli Cuts, Fresh Or Frozen (definitely Include The Stems!)
- 4 cups Stock (chicken Or Vegetable, Preferably) Or Water
- 1 whole Medium Russet (or Other Baking) Potato, Peeled And Diced
- Salt And Freshly Ground White Pepper, To Taste (if You Can't Get White Pepper, You Can Use Black Pepper!)
- Creme Fraiche, For Garnish (optional)
- FOR THE CREME FRAICHE:
- 2 Tablespoons Cultured Buttermilk (NOT Lemon Juice Or Vinegar Soured Milk)
- 2 cups Heavy Cream (ultra-pasteurized Is Not Preferable, But It Can Be Used. It May Just Take Longer For The Creme Fraiche To Thicken.)
To make the soup:
Melt the butter in a stockpot or large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and lower heat to medium-low. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onions and sweat, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Lower the heat if necessary to avoid browning the onions. This should take about 5 minutes.
Add the broccoli, stock, and potato to the soup pot and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the soup to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 25 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Puree the soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor or use an immersion (stick) blender in the pot to puree the soup to your desired consistency. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
If garnishing, first loosen the crème fraîche in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Use a spoon to drizzle or dollop the crème fraîche over the soup and then swirl with a toothpick to create pretty patterns throughout.
You can freeze the uneaten, un-garnished soup in tightly covered containers for up to three months.
To make the creme fraiche:
Use a whisk to combine the buttermilk with heavy cream. Cover lightly and leave at room temperature (between 65°F and 75°F) for 24 hours or until thickened (but no more than 48 hours). This is good for two weeks (but I’ve used it longer than that) in the refrigerator. Chilling it prior to use will thicken it further.
There’s so much to say about Georgia, we don’t know where to start. Leaving Wall Street for the French Culinary Institute, followed by a stint at the Gramercy Tavern and La Chassagnette in France, her passion for food and food traditions are evident and inspiring. Visit her site at Georgia Pellegrini, where you’ll find more recipes, photos, learn all about her wonderful books Girl Hunter and Food Heroes, and enjoy her latest adventures.