seared broccoli soup

This creamy broccoli soup (without actual cream!) popped up on my Instagram newsfeed today and it looked enticing enough that I decided to make it for dinner.  Maybe part of the reason was there was a giant wedge of parmesan cheese in the photo and I thought it was a broccoli and cheese soup, but whatever.  The recipe was originally from the New York Times and I honestly couldn’t be bothered with sticking exactly to the recipe, especially the measurements, like half a pound of this and 1/4 tsp of this… so this is what I did.

Makes about 4 servings

2 heads of broccoli  /  1 medium sized potato  /  1/2 yellow onion  /  5 cloves garlic  /  2 tbsp unsalted butter  /  ~1/2 cup olive oil (though in the end I used a combination of olive and grape seed oil because I felt the olive oil on its own was going to start smoking)  /  1 pinch or 2 of crushed red pepper  /  1/2 lemon  /  4 cups water  /  salt  /  pepper  /  parmigiano reggiano cheese (optional)  /  maldon sea salt flakes (optional)

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First prep the ingredients.  Cut up the broccoli crown into medium-sized florets and chop up the stems.  Mince the garlic and dice the onion.  Peel and thinly slice the potato.  Then in a large pot over medium high to high heat, heat up about 2 tbsp or of oil and scatter about 1/3 to 1/2 of the broccoli (depending on the size of your pot) in the pot so that the bottom of the pan is covered in a single layer.  I used tongs ‘cus I’m always scared of burning myself with sizzling hot oil.  Cook the broccoli without moving it for a few minutes or until the bottoms of the broccoli have turned a dark brown colour (the other sides will still be bright green).  Move the seared broccoli to a bowl and repeat with the rest of the broccoli, adding more oil before each batch.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and toss in the butter, another couple tbsp or so of oil, the garlic, onion and crushed red pepper.  Cook, giving it a stir every so often, until the onions have softened up and gone a bit translucent.  Add in the potatoes and the water and bring to a simmer and then cover.  Let it cook until the potatoes have just gotten tender, about 10 minutes or so.  Then add in the broccoli, cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used probably about 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt) and add the zest of the lemon along with one good squeeze of juice.

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Using a hand blender, or if you don’t have one just use a regular blender, blend the soup until smooth.  Or if you want, you could leave it with a bit more texture, up to you!  To finish, top with a drizzle of olive oil, some cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of salt flakes, and a fine grating of parmigiano reggiano.

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I’m not really that much of a soup person and I enjoyed this.  I like that it’s potato that gives this soup it’s creaminess and not actual cream.  Rock loves soup so he was pretty happy to come home to this and our 11 month old, who as of late has seemed to lose his hefty appetite, greedily gulped this up so overall a success!

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