Bright Broccoli Soup
In keeping with brightly colored foods for good health, today we’re sharing with you the Fred’s latest soup creation. Yes, we know, we generally try to keep things seasonal around here but sometimes a woman just craves broccoli! And this soup really packs it in. Unlike your traditional broccoli cheddar soups, this one is relatively light and so brightly colored, thanks to cook’s illustrated’s suggestion of adding a bit of spinach right before blending. In the end you don’t taste the spinach at all, but it helps keep the color vibrant and adds a certain spring freshness to this usually heavy genre of soup. We also used chickpea flour to make our roux, instead of the traditional all purpose flour. This adds a touch of extra protein and nutrition and we think it makes for a more interesting flavor base than just plain old flour, but that will certainly do if you don’t want to buy chickpea flour (hint: chickpea flour is often found with Indian products and labeled gram or besan flour). In the end we were delighted with the results and we’re sure you will be to!
Bright Broccoli Soup
2 lb broccoli, cut into 1 to 1/2 inch florets
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup water
1 cup packed baby spinach – about 2 ounces
3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
First, melt your butter in a medium pot over medium heat. When melted, whisk in your chickpea flour and allow to bubble and simmer for several minutes while continuing to whisk often. Whisk in your chicken stock, bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes, whisking every minute or two.
While the stock is thickening, heat your olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot or large saute pan. When hot, add your garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently for a minute or two until fragrant, then add your broccoli and mustard powder. Cook for 5 minutes, then add your water and bring to a simmer. Allow the vegetables to simmer until your stock is finished thickening.
Add your vegetables and their cooking water to your thickened chicken stock and continue to simmer until the broccoli is tender. Once tender, mix in your spinach and continue to cook another minute or two until the spinach is wilted. Next, blend your soup (you may wish to remove some of the broccoli florets so you have some chunkiness left after blending). Return the soup to your pot and add your cheeses. Once the cheese has melted add salt and pepper to taste and thin to desired consistency with additional stock or water.