Sometimes there's nothing like a good bowl of soup. This cream of broccoli soup recipe really hits the spot when that time rolls around.
I like it because it uses some nice, simple ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already, and it really brings out the yummy taste of broccoli rather than relying on lots of spices. Of course, I happen to love broccoli!
You might notice that this cream of broccoli soup recipe calls for cooking the broccoli in chicken stock, which is left in the soup. Some recipes call to boil the broccoli then throw away the water, but that just tosses a load of nutrients and flavor down the drain! It's another reason I love this recipe.
Try it out, but feel free to tweak it. I rarely use exact measurement myself, so just adjust as you go along. If your soup seems too thick, don't be afraid to add a bit of milk to thin it.
And now, here it is!
In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat and saute the onion, leek, and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the broccoli and chicken stock. Simmer uncovered until the broccoli is just soft enough to mash or puree.
Puree the broccoli/stock mixture. Set the puree aside in a bowl.
For a chunkier soup, just mash with a potato masher.
If you prefer a smoother soup, you can use a regular or immersion blender to puree.
In the same pot, melt the remaining butter over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth, and cook the mixture until it starts to lose its raw flour smell, and smells a bit nutty.
The fat-flour mixture, called a roux, should have the texture of a thick paste. If it's too thin, add a bit of flour. If it's too thick, just add a bit of fat.
Add the milk to the roux. Pour it slowly in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Try to keep the mixture smooth at all times. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until it thickens, whisking often.
Sometimes it's easier to pour in a bit of milk, whisk until smooth, then add a bit more milk and repeat.
Incorporate the broccoli puree. Stir until it's well blended.
Season to your taste with salt and pepper.
Serve, and enjoy!
If you like, you can save a few pretty broccoli florets to garnish your soup, just like in the picture. Just add them to the bowl right before serving.
You can set some aside before cooking them and steam them separately.
You can also 'rescue' a few florets after they've cooked to your taste in the chicken stock.
This cream of broccoli soup recipe uses chicken stock because it has gelatin in it, which gives a nice texture and helps carry and blend flavors. But if you prefer a vegetarian soup, you can use vegetable stock instead.
You really only need enough stock to cover the vegetables so that they can cook. The more you add, the thinner your soup will be. So keep that in mind when you add the stock. Put as much as you like!
If you puree the soup in a blender, be careful. It's very hot, and will get hotter as the soup purees. Let it settle a bit before opening your container.
You can use cream, half-and-half, whole or skim skim. If you do use cream though, you may want to cut down on the amount of cream and of the butter-flour mixture. It could end up too rich and thick. I use 1% milk myself, and it's still creamy and awesome.
For this cream of broccoli soup recipe, you can substitute frozen broccoli for the fresh broccoli. If you do, you may also want to add extra flour or less liquid – the frozen broccoli might be more watery.